Wednesday, February 8, 2012

To Nothingness, a poem

My poetry journal.
I started writing poetry in eighth grade. My English teacher at the time required us to learn different styles of poem writing, mainly based on meter and rhyme. He'd send us home with assignments. "Write a blank verse tonight." "Try your hand at a Shakespearean sonnet for your poetry journal."

I would sit, staring at my notebook and feeling hindered by the instructions. If I want to write about a certain topic, why should I have to care if it's in iambic pentameter? In my frustration I didn't realize what I was being afforded.

The problem was that I hated being prescribed certain structures. But in time I learned how magnificent I felt when I used them.

For the next four years after leaving that English class, I only wrote another couple of poems. My high school days were filled with academic and journalistic writing assignments and I rarely, if ever, made time to be creative with my work.

But once I got to college I started realizing the value in devoting my own heart to my writing, in letting my pen speak from my soul rather than just writing what was on my mind.

A lot of people truly enjoy writing in free verse. They see no use in structure because they feel that the purpose of poetry is to let the mind wander and produce an emotional outpouring that needs no beautification through rhyme.

But I've always felt differently. The poetry I write is not the product of my mind wandering. It's something farther from my reach. When I focus on the number of syllables, the rhyme scheme, the structure of a poem, I forget about trying to be eloquent and trying to send a message.

Instead of writing political allegories or telling stories that have been on my mind, I let my pen do the deciding. The words flow out to fit within the design I've concocted for my poem and as a result, the purest of my writing pours onto the page.

What comes out is a form of expression rather than impression. I don't let my work mean something greater than it is, instead I let it stand for exactly what it means. It's almost like I don't control it, but that it's handed to me by my unconscious mind.

One day I was out on a walk and I decided to just sit down and listen to my surroundings and put pen to paper. My decision on structure went as follows: ababcdcdefef rhyme pattern and whatever number of syllables I have in the first and second lines I will continue to copy for the rest of the poem. This is a common style for me and it works pretty well for my creative method.

These were the results:

To Nothingness

Abrupt noises in my ears
And a dull pain in my spine
The world is not quite here,
But for the thoughts in my mind.
My old world was full of pain
Of the heart, not the self
In the grave, those thoughts I've lain
Not with spite, but for my health.
I find brightness within me
When mel'ncholy shrouds all else
Exhuming my soul, I see
To nothingness, all else melts.

No comments:

Post a Comment