Poetry is a product of mental digestion — an evidence of consciousness, because the poet writes what is heard, seen, felt, perceived, foreseen or hoped. Thus, a poet is an individual of many perceptive tentacles, expressing ‘creatively’.
Frankly speaking, no ingredient of life is rejected in the kitchen of the poet’s mind because what he/she serves should not alienate anyone.
That is not to say the poet should write to please but the displeased should be made fairly displeased in the processes of ‘displeasement’.
As a poet, my poems are slices of my soul, weighed on the scale of my conscience, boiled in the waters of my heart and seasoned with life experiences.
Poesy is a pregnancy — the birthing of the matured fetus, formed of the coitus of Mr. Perception and Miss Rumination in the womb of the mind.
Therefore, the ultimate aim of a mother-poet is natural birth, untainted with prejudice. Which is why, as a personal opinion, I would say, it is better to get an abortion of the urge to write than to force a birth.
Believe me, Cesarean Section in poesy is a circumvention of purification phases. The product would be a still birth and no mother would parade a dead baby with pride. No, she would weep!
In other words, the creative poet will woo the poem, not command or force it to existence!
- Expression In Creation
There is this modern trend in poetry where thought are expressed as they flow, without a deliberate attempt to ‘creatively-express’.
What this results to is ‘poetry’ that has verses, physically a poem but lacking intrinsic poetic value…
They’re easy to recognize – join up the lines and you have an essay in your hands; observe individual verses and you see perfect grammar clauses with no deeper meaning, search and you’ll find not the basic poetic device.
I call them essays in verse… not poetry.
- Word Shylocks
Also, as you use words, remember that words are the currency we spend in the economy of poetry. So, just like you will not want to pay N5000 for a shirt listed as N1000, don’t use more words than in needed in your poems.
If you found a word in your poem that will not affect the poem if removed, then you don’t need it.
Poetry should express a lot in a few words, not few things in a deluge of words.
- What Should The Poet Do?
Many people have said poetry is best expressed as it comes, but even the bible says something like; “and the prophets’ spirits are under the control of the prophets (1 Corinthians 14:32 International Standard Version.”
Yes, you may claim direction comes from the muse, but as a poet, you are fully in charge of your muse and can therefore make sure its promptings are expressed as creatively as possible.
Now, you don’t have to rhyme or put rhythm in your poems to be seen as creative. Far from it!
Metaphors, figurative expressions, condensed meaning, proper diction, originality, cliché-less verses, avoidance of tautology, order or organized disorder, progression…
All those will help you birth an adult fetus!
So, next time you pick a poem, do it with the knowledge that you are aiming to create something that should have an original identity of its own.
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.