By definition, poetry is literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature. Some typical conventions of poems are similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, repetition, onomatopoeia, imagery, rhyme, rhythm. For me, poems have always been more than just a piece of writing that uses these types of conventions.
Growing up, poetry always felt like the fun genre. The wide array of colorful Doctor Seuss books, Robert Frost books, and eventually the Shel Silverstein books (The Giving Tree will always be my favorite book.) Each poet seemingly bursting with creativity as the stories they told through their poems made me feel as though I was sitting right there inside of every page.
As I’ve gotten older, poetry still stands out to me because of its huge opportunity to make a piece open for interpretation. Not every poem has an explicit message because the way that the words are interpreted can be dependent on the reader. It’s up to the poet to decide how they shape their piece: they’re not necessarily just shaping sentences into well-arranged paragraphs. Indentations, spaces, capitalization, and many other formatting choices all have an impact on the message that’s being conveyed. I also think it is fascinating how poetry and types of poetry have evolved over the years. A sonnet written in the 1800’s probably has vast differences from a contemporary poem written in 2010, but both pieces of writing would fall into the same category of a poem.
Lately I’ve found that I’ve been drawn to contemporary poems that are typically short but instill a lot of meaning that I can relate to. With the overbearingly difficult transition from leaving behind my high school boyfriend, the friends I’ve had since I was five years old, and my family that has been with me every step of the way, these poems cushioned me with a sense of comfort. It made me feel better to read something that described someone going through similar young-adult struggles, while I also felt empowered by reading about overcoming these everyday teenage obstacles. Specifically, I found myself drawn toward Rupi Kaur’s poems and poems that are similar to hers. I fell in love with her style of writing and also her choice of illustrations (which she does on her own.) Her poems have inspired me to begin to transform my own thoughts into words whenever I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I often lay in bed after a long day, my mind whirling with 1,000 different problems, and simply jot down how I’m feeling into the notes section on my phone. Although these notes aren’t necessarily poems, they’re sentences with intense meaning that allow me to release my anger, sadness, happiness, or frustration, and reflect back on it. I think turning these thoughts and feelings into a poem or a series of short poems would be an interesting journey for myself both as a writer and as a person who’s still finding herself. I also always loved art in high school and even completed an AP course in Studio Art, so with the previous inspiration from Rupi Kaur, I’d love to potentially experiment with illustrations to compliment my work just like she does.
Below I attached a link of some of Rupi Kaur poems!