How does poetry come to you?
This is probably the question I am asked the most. What inspires me to write? And how do I decide something is worth writing about? Honestly, for me it has become impulse. I used to sit down with pen and paper with the aim of writing about a specific subject but the poems would often be too contrived and fail to include any real emotion or experience. Experience is the main factor in my writing, I write about what I know and what I see around me. I often just start with an opening line or a word and think up all the rhyming possibilities, then I sculpt my story from there.
How did poetry help with depression?
Both writing and reading poetry helped me with my depression. When I was alone at night and couldn’t sleep, I would capture all my thoughts on paper. Writing them down helped them escape my head and meant my mind was not riddled with bad thoughts until morning. I also read a lot of poetry books during this time and so many of the authors had similar struggles. This reiterated to me that there was an end to my problem, even if it wasn’t in sight. I like reading but I find myself easily bored of novels but for me poetry is such a succinct form of story-telling and it manages to capture my attention and imagination in its entirety.
Why is poetry important?
I don’t know that it is important. Poetry is important to me because it is a way for me to express how I am feeling and talk about issues I am facing. I think a lot of people look to poetry when they aren’t feeling great because it is full of honest human emotion. I have had people come to me and tell me that they have related to my work and hearing it has helped them re-evaluate some of the things in their life. Knowing I have helped that person, even in the smallest way is extremely satisfying and perhaps this is what makes it important.
What is poetry about?
My poetry is mostly about myself. I try not to talk about topics that I have not experienced because it wouldn’t be honest and more than likely would be ill-informed. There are so many poets out there writing unique pieces every day, I do not know that we can say “this is what poetry is about.” My best guess is that poetry is an honest expression of a person’s emotionally connection to what they see around them.
Is Spoken Word different from normal poetry?
Spoken word is poetry but it is written to be performed. Half the work is writing the words and the other half is perfecting the performance so that it is powerful and impactful. Sometimes these poems can lose their edge when written down. That is main difference between spoken word and traditional poetry.
Should poetry be confined to grammar rules?
I think this links back to the traditional vs spoken word debate. Often when I am writing I will use words that complete my rhyme scheme but may be grammatically incorrect, in this medium I think it works and it adds something to the piece. If you are writing traditionally and want the work to be read then it would serve you best to keep it tight in regards to literary law. Art is art at the end of the day, so really you can do what you like. Subjectivity FTW!
What Poetry should I read?
There is a whole host of talent out there. You can just search #Poems on Instagram and you will see all the great artists putting their work out. There are always more scholarly recommendations however, below is a list of some of the poets I really enjoy.