Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Poetry?

Writing in general has always been a source of comfort for me, theraputic in its process. But Poetry in particular is an especially unique avenue of expression that is both obvious yet mysterious, in which a handful of words sequenced in well-thought-out ways can have meanings deeper than the ocean. Poets are Artists, Paper their Canvas, Pen their Brush, and Words their Paint in all the colours of the rainbow.

Funnily enough, a poem I wrote recently, titled "My Silent Friend" describes exactly why I love Poetry as a form of expression.
In this poem, I talk about how writing/poetry is my Silent Friend who, "knows my secrets, the depth of my joys and sorrows; when others see my deceiving faces, only she and God hears of my hidden truths." (i.e. sometimes I may appear my normal self to the outside world, but Poetry learns of what may be heavy on my mind).

I go on to describe how poetry understands me and how exhausting
certain thoughts may be, and while she may encourage me to offload my burdens to her, she "...lets me be when she knows the strain, knows the struggle to form the words, to move the lips while the eyes shut in the rain".

Nonetheless, when I finally do let out the thoughts and words that may be running circles in my mind, "So light is the feeling after she takes my stresses, and turns them into a work of art".
That is the beautiful thing about Poetry - how our thoughts can to transformed into an artistic piece for the eyes and ears to take in and admire.

One thing you'll notice about a lot of my poems published in my book "Unveiling" is that I like using a clear rhyming pattern and write in a particular rhythm so my poems have a 'lyric' feel. I suppose this is because my poetry is influenced by my favourite poets, Lord Byron and Elizabeth Barret Browning, who wrote poetry a couple of centuries ago. I must admit rhyming can be a bit restrictive at times, but with practice and when done well, they give a poem a 'melody'.

TIPS: If you'd like to take a stab at rhyming in your next poem, remember there are different rhyming patterns you can use, which I'll give examples for below.

I sat
On a mat
But my dog
Sat on a log

I sat
On a log
Next to my cat
And my dog

I sat
On a log
Next to
My fluffy dog

My personal favourite is the ABCB pattern, because you only have to rhyme every second line. So I will usually write my first two lines, then if I can't think of a rhyme straight away for the last line in the 4-line stanza, in my head I'll go through the alphabet rhyming the letters with my word. E.G. My word is Cat; so in my head I will say "At, Bat, Cat, Dat, etc" until I find a word that fits well with the line and the whole poem.

Nonetheless, these days, people don't focus on rhyme anymore. But there are other poetic tools, such as alliteration (Cuddly cats curl into cotton balls) or assonance (vowel rhyming, which is used a lot in rap verses such as, "I see no changes, all I see is racist faces..."), which all add to the richness of Poetry.

So keep them in mind the next time you write!

Purchase "Unveiling" to read my poetry


  1. Good writing, I can see I'll have to read more of your work!

  2. Thanks Carolyn, I appreciate your feedback!