The Underrated Life of Poetry

What do you think of when I say “Poetry?”

Do you see dark, coffee shops? Black, brooding clothing? Maybe you think of the “drama queen” from high school..

To some extent I used to agree. However, I found this book… ten poems to set you free by Roger Housden. It’s curated content at its best. He has well-known poems that resonated with him, then an explanation essay following, citing the emotions that were evoked within him, as well as quotes from similar poems that he has identified.

What I really like about this is that it’s clear that he’s smarter than I am. 

Did that sound funny? Let me say it again.

He’s smarter than I am.

At least in Poetry. The depth of his knowledge far surpasses my own, and I agree with the quotes of other poems that he brings forth. His insight is clear and the explanation a new way of looking at the words written.

In this way he’s shown me another way to look at poetry, and the poet.

Poetry is vulnerability. 

It’s why we like songs. The really good ones are poetry set to music.

It’s as if the artist/poet has torn open themselves and have said, “I know that by doing this I shall be ridiculed, because it is not done. I know that by doing this I shall be hurt, for who else is as vulnerable as I?

Yet, I would willingly give myself over to the passion of living to feel, excruciatingly, every detail, than to go about as if I had never lived at all.”

This, is the heart of creativity. (As I see it.) A very real, raw, and vulnerable state in which we might connect with others through our chosen medium of expression.

Do you feel as if you are living? What would you do differently if you could?