Does the word “Poetry” remind you of deadly-dull lessons at school reading incomprehensible verse late in the afternoon? Fortunately, my Grade 6 class teacher loved reading poetry to us with energy and expression, and I was hooked instantly. I loved the rhythm and rhyme, the word pictures created in my mind and the powerful emotions that stirred in my heart.
As if by magic, poetry transported me to different places and unfamiliar situations. One moment I was at my desk reading, and the next, I was standing on a remote cliff top about to plummet as an eagle to the ocean below, or hearing bell-birds in the coolness of a mountain rainforest.
Have you heard a competent reading of the classical English poems “The Highwayman”, “Mort d’ Arthur” and “Elegy in a Country Churchyard?” These bring fresh insights into human nature and in the face of pain, death and tragedy. Australian poems such as “The Man from Snowy River” and “The Roaring Days” stir feelings of pride and patriotism as everyday events are turned into acts of heroism. But above all, words spring to life as they are spoken aloud with emphasis and feeling. Strange to think that mere scribbles on a piece of paper become music to the ears and a delicious sensation in the mouth as they roll off the tongue and are projected into space.
How about writing poems? Are you, like me, busy with study, career, family and other priorities, so the desire to write is pushed aside while attending to more “practical” things. Writing poetry helps you to become more observant, analytical and creative. It forces you to reach deep inside yourself and draw on thoughts and emotions long since forgotten.
Now is a great time to pick up a book of poetry to read aloud or try your hand at writing poetry. You’ll find help in other blog articles by clicking on these links:
How and when do you engage with poetry? What is your greatest frustration when writing poetry? Do you need help with rhythm, rhyme or using poetic devices? Is there a particular type of poetry that interests you the most?
Leave a comment below.