Life is amazing and intriguing and sometimes we try and find ways of expressing it in words mostly through stories, songs and poetry. Poetry is one of the oldest art forms in the world and has been used for thousands of years for expressing thoughts and emotions. Poetry in life is used as a form of entertainment, teaching tool and also to pass down history from one generation to another. Poetry is more than just words and it includes song lyrics and spoken word that evoke human emotions. It is sexy and rough and sometimes it is kind and inhibited. Poems can be short and long, the longest poem in the world is the Mahabharata which has over one million words while the shortest poems are known as Haikus and have only three lines. There are very many genres of poetry some are poems for life such as Shakespeare’s sonnets which deal with death and love and everything in between. Poems stand for things we go through in everyday life. On March 21st every year we show just how much we value poetry in life because this day is World Poetry day. Poetry is indeed colourful and brings light to our lives.
Kate Tempest opened the Sydney’s Writers Festival in May 2016. Kate Tempest has been dubbed as a young Patti Smith. Her lyrical style and empathetic fierceness mean that Kate is able to reach a wide audience. With award-winning poetry books, an album, and a new novel, it is no wonder that her new tour sold out around the world almost instantly. Kate Tempest at Sudneys writers festival talked about how literature is one of the best teachers in the world, especially when you are teaching empathy. She spoke of her hope for young people to latch on to her words and gain a deeper empathy of the world we live in at the moment, especially in its state of turmoil. Kate recently won the Ted Hughes Poetry Award, making her the first poet under 40 to ever win. This is all quite amazing from a girl who started out rapping on night buses and pestering MC’s for a gig at the age of 16. Critics from around the world agree that it is Kate’s lyrical poetry, spoken word, and modern hip-hop that engage audiences and make her so captivating. If you ever get the chance to see her live it is a definite must. As she says herself, ‘the stories we tell, tell us who we are.’
Working in the antiques business, I come upon numerous Australian poets and their best work. It does help to be enamored with poetry in general; it has given me an eye for good pieces. Poetry allows me to collect thoughts and remarks from the works of someone far away, with a life completely different, and yet so close to my own. Being closer to home, to our way of life, local talents are somewhat easier to find. For one, it’s very easy to find old and worn volumes from the famous Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson, real classics for any poetry buff. Less easy to find, but more entertaining to contemporary minds, are Dorothy Hewett’s collections. Their playful and unconventional tone will change your views on what poetry should sound like. Next time when you visit an antique store, start digging until you find one of her collections. You will not want to put it down and the shop owner might have to kick you out. Nevertheless, where is the fun in being in love with poetry if you can stop reading it? I’m always looking for new and exciting authors, so I would like to learn from you: Who are your favorite Australian poets?
The beauty of the internet is the fact that it has provided a number of budding authors and artists a platform to showcase their work. In the case of poets, Facebook and Instagram have made it easy for them to share their words, and their emotions with the masses. Christopher Poindexter is one such poet- he found his following on Instagram and Facebook, and has currently moved to the world of print.
Christopher’s poetry is beautifully unstructured, in a way all good spoken poetry is. He writes about the world, and whatever touches his soul. Most importantly, he writes about love. His words are usually deeply touching, and while some of them are directed at his paramour, many of them are addressed to the world. They are incredibly inspirational at times, and at times spell out the exact feeling of sadness we feel in our own chests.
That is what makes Christopher’s work so unique. He can appeal to the happiest, and the darkest thoughts within people’s soul. He puts to words the feelings we feel ourselves, and makes us feel like we are not alone in our quest through this life.
He has recently shifted to the print media as well, having published his first book of poetry, “Naked Human” and “Lavender“, which will be out on the 14th of February. Get yourself a copy- it will definitely be your companion for years to come!
How do you write your poems? I use a mixture of methods but since I got my iPad and Siri – getting my ideas down has become a doddle. I also write them up in the computer/iPad as makes moving the words or lines around and seeing the difference is so much easier.
I often wake up in the night with something rumbling around in my head and it is so much easier to press SIRI’s button and record a reminder than switch on the light and find my notepad and pen. I still have the same problem some mornings tho; when I come to read/hear what I wrote or recorded I do not quite understand it. Either my writing so bad I can’t read it or Siri has misheard what I said. Can be quite funny.
The online community is great as well, sharing your poems getting feedback, normally positive and reading other people’s work is so affirming. I know my horizons have been widened by my joining and contributing to an online poetry site. I am involved with Allpoetry and enjoying the experience, I am still a newbie with the site and it caters for people like me and for those far more experienced. I am currently writing a piece for their newcomers contest, my chosen word is cranberry, very festive and has got me reflecting on Christmas’s past. I might even share on here..I will see. Another a friend uses The Red Room Company which looks to encourage new Australian writers and distribute their work in unusual ways – still not too sure what she means by that – but I know she loves the site; note to self check it out soon!
Poetry is beautiful- and it does celebrate all the beauty in the world. But poetry is also unsettling- it should make people question things, and change the world. Poetry gives a voice to those who have not been given the opportunity to speak before- all that was lacking was the right platform. A platform through which people in big cities, small villages, regardless of their background and gender, can come forward with their beautiful words and change the world.
This is why Poetry Slams are a big deal. They draw attention to some of the finest wordsmiths in the country, and they also provide a voice to those who are downtrodden. The Australian Poetry Slam has given rise to a number of promising young (and old) poets, and it is back with a bang on the 9th of October, 2015. The finale of the Poetry Slam will be held on the 11th of October, at the Sydney Opera House. During the course of the festival, people from all over the country will present their poems, soliloquies, monologues, stories, and lyrics.
The Australian Poetry Slam is one of the biggest spoken word events in the word- by the finale, over 1000 participant poets perform their work, and over 20,000 people attend the event. It’s more amazing because the winner is not determined by the literary elite of the country, but random members chosen from the audience. This ensures that the person who wins is the person who touched the most people- the one person whose words represent his/her fellow countrymen.
The tickets are still available for this year’s event- if you’re interested!
During my early days I used to scribble a lot on paper in expectation that it would become poetry. But it was not to be. I was stubborn and kept on writing filling pages and unrelenting. Then one morning I wrote a couple which I can call poetry. I did not initially give a title, but later added.
In The Beautiful……
Sometimes I see you in a crowded street..
Where the Buzz of Life so thrives…
Sometimes by the Meadows still..
Where Quite Waters Lie….
Other times I see you in a steeple…
By the Evenings glow…
I always see you…
In the Beautiful….
I love the warm sun upon my face and eyes…
I Love the soft sound of rustling leaves…
I love the number less patterns of the cloud…
The busy bee and the Butterfly…
But Mostly You….
The first poetry is for god and also for my lost love. I have never written any poetry since I lost my inspiration to a disease in 2012. But I am thinking to start again after i stumbled upon my first creations in one of my school text books. I tried writing today itself while I was crossing ferratum office but could not match my worst ones from school. Hopefully I will get back the skill. Well calling it a skill is not right, it is gift from almighty. Amen!
I talked in my last post about how to start reading poetry as it is such a personal experience. When I was first introduced to poetry it was about 15 years ago and via the radio in the car. On long trips I get fed up with music ( yes I do!) and have had the unfortunate experience of listening to recorded books on long journeys and being so involved I have missed my turning, on one occasion by 3 exits!! I then discovered poetry and listened to anything I could find and eventually gained a collection of poets and poems that I love. These days I have the Audible app on my smartphone and tablet and it is wonderful, not only for stories but for poetry collections as well. I am currently listening to Bex Pavia, a fantasy poet and author. I came across Ms Pavia on Wattpad an authors and readers portal, here you get to read books in their first and final drafts or even write your own. I bought her children’s rhyming book at Christmas and the kids loved it. I have one of her fantasy collection of rhyming poems, The Dark Ones. This collection is not all sweetness and light but dark and twisted with some humour. The first poem, The Dark Ones is my favourite and whilst fantasy in theme it also evokes to me those anxious thoughts you can get at night that invade your thoughts and stop you sleeping. Ms Pavia has two other poetry books available, I have not had the pleasure of reading (listening) to them yet but intend to very soon, the Goodreads reviews are excellent; The Soul Bearer and other Poems and The Moon Queen: Another book of Rhyme which I fancy reading first, as it is suggested it has more humor in it.
Rhyming poems are often what we associate as poetry but of course their are many forms but there is a comfort and familiarity about rhyming almost musical so if new these are often the easiest form to reintroduce yourself to.
This might seem like a really simple question, but it does not have a simple answer. Poetry is varied in its nature and its language. For the uninitiated, it is an incredibly vast world that might prove unsurpassable.
But that’s the deal with poetry. Unlike prose, it is not possible for one to suggest a list of poems or poets one can just suggest, a list that can just make a person well versed in poetry. Love for poetry is something that should come from the within. If you are interested in reading more of poetry, just pay attention to the small quotes and snippets of poems you might come across on social media platforms. If any of these catch your fancy, you could continue reading more by the same poet.
This might sound like an incredibly boring option, but you could try reading poetry prescribed to high school students if you want. This is a good starting point, for it will cover a number of classical poems while giving you an introduction to some modern ones as well. Contemporary poetry can be explored through literary journals or anthologies as well. These are just starting points that will help you develop a taste for poetry- once you have figured out what kind of poetry you do like, you will be able to read more and read effectively!
One of my favorite poems is “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats. Keats is one of the best of the genre Romance. In fact he is one of the famous trios Lord Byron, P B Shelly and John Keats.
A Famous verse from Ode to Nightingale – John Keats
He was not well appreciated during his own life time, and became famous after his death. Genius is often not understood. And he was a genius. He became the most famous and loved poet of 19th century England. He influenced many poets of later age and still inspires many prodigies.
Most of Keats’ creations are characterized by sensual imagery. Then in 19th century England it was a taboo. In present times, Keats is the most analyzed and most read poet.
In his early career Keats struggled with debt, but later bloomed to become an enigma. In his poem “Ode to Nightingale” Keats is a bit different and talks about mortality in a subtle sense. The poem is a conflict between ideal and actual. The song within the song is bereft with pain, imagination and human experience. The poem has an escape into the fancy world.
The inherent message is very relevant today. It brings about the true sufferings of a human and how he tries relentlessly to escape into a fancy world.
Keats contributed heavily with his writings. Letters written by him and the notes he left behind are a part of his literary treasure.