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“Passionate people put pens to paper to produce poetry.”
While a third grade teacher may gush over this sentence, most others would find it appalling. Nevertheless, the truth behind it is undeniable; poetry rises from the fires in people’s eyes and the passion in their hearts. It has the ability to shape minds, heal broken souls, and make sense of the abstract. From my first attempt at creating this type of elusive artwork, I knew that poetry would be a way of giving the world access to my mind and insight.
I always had an inclination towards poetry. Reading and dancing consumed much of my imagination as a child, and so realizing that I had the power to make words twirl and leap in the minds of others delighted me. The skill and thought that went into creating poems grew as I aged, and soon I discovered a power hidden between the lines of language; ambiguity and the limitless nature of symbolism allowed me to disclose my worst struggles, adolescent loves, and deepest hatred through vague statements and images. I became addicted to the thrill of hiding secrets in plain sight.
Viewing the world through poetry has molded my mind in ways that I had not realized until recently. Rather than seeing things through my point of view, I often find myself admiring my surroundings as if I were above rather than within them. Emotions are far more than limbic system reactions to me- they are living beings with distinctive physical traits. I look at people and rather than seeing their actions or hearing their words, I see the dense clouds of jealousy behind their eyes or the soft, hazy glow of love that races from their hearts to their fingertips, toes, and lips in vein-like streaks of light.
My encounters with mirrors have also morphed as a result of my work. In growing with my language, I have gained the ability to see past my sun bleached hair and dark blue eyes. I see myself as if I were within and beyond my body all at once. I watch my thoughts fight for dominance and I know that when I close my eyes, entire worlds will flesh out in front of me, forming in the darkness and obliterating in the light.
Poetry has allowed me to discover the depth and diversity of my thoughts. By tuning into the deeper recesses of my mind in order to write, I have uncovered previously masked emotions and opinions. Stringing words into poems has helped me to understand myself, my train of thought, and my perspective of all that surrounds me. The fear of judgment from others, which previously held me back, can now be erased by the power of my own writing. Rather than uncertainty, confidence now laces my words and dances with them.
I once wrote a poem about growing up; it was an assignment in my freshmen year English class, and I have pondered its lines more than anything else I have ever written. Works like this prove to me that even in what seems to be my hardest challenges, when I think that the entire world has bared its teeth at me, I have the strength to say what I mean and influence the direction of my life.
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