On Writing Poetry…

I thought that today I would write a blog post on something to do with writing.

I started properly writing poetry at the start of this academic year, as I had to as part of my university course. I was very cynical about poetry, because I’d always been so terrible at it. However, I was fifteen, naïve and in the ‘teen angst’ stage of my writing life, where my diary entries consisted of how ‘in love’ I was with ‘boyfriends’ that I was too shy to kiss, and how I was fed up with being told what to do by my foster mother, and was writing a fantasy novel full of romance and what I thought was intrigue. Five years later, I’m in the ‘liberated rebel’ stage of my writing life, and prose writing doesn’t fit it as much as I would of liked. I did write a Jack Kerouac style prose piece called ‘Grey Souls and Dancing Minds’, which turned into a long prose poem after feedback, but the original, pure version is on my deviantart page if you want to check that out (see my ‘where else can I check out HJ’s work’ on this blog for the link). But I feel that there is something about poetry that is wonderful for the rebellious writer.

With poetry, you can actually play with word sounds, fiddle around with rhythm and rhyme. You can learn the traditional poetry styles, then break all the rules for a cool effect (I did write a poem using haiku in order to create each verse, which worked better than I thought it would) and you can play with imagery in a way that is tricky to do with prose without sounding way too wordy. In poetry you can get away with being a lot more emotional than with prose, so you can get angry, like I did in ‘That’s so Retarded’, you can get wistful, like in my poem ‘The Book’ and use humour, like in ‘Alternative Valentine’. Again, check out all these on my dA page, if you want to read them.

I used to hate writing poetry because when I had to write it at school, you had to rhyme, you had to follow all these rules and conventions that I didn’t realise that they didn’t need to be there if it made the poem tricky to write. I hated it because of the fact that when I read out my work, it wasn’t received well by the teachers, because I was either too emotional, or I broke away from the convention that they desired from my young imagination. I will always be the first to admit that I was a terrible poet when I was fifteen, but that was because I was turned right off of writing and reading poetry by most of the teachers at school who took away the magic and power that poetry can have on a growing mind.

So I only rediscovered poetry when I started university, after I transferred from scriptwriting to the poetry class, and being allowed the freedom to explore and dream. I dipped my toe into the waters, and wrote a couple of hesitant verses. But one day, I just started to get a lot more confident in what I was doing. I started writing bigger, better poems. I was even beginning to share my work with other students, and my lecturers. Before I knew it, I was then sharing my new passion with the world by starting up a new dA page, so I could avoid the one I was using as a young girl, and I was loving it. I’ve even picked a poetry module for next year, so I can hone in my performance poetry skills, to write bigger, better and angrier poetry to use as a platform to have my say about the world I live in, a world that needs to change for the better, rather than for the worse, which it is currently doing.

I am but a Ginsburg, writing furiously to challenge and defy, using my words as a tool to tell the world that it is time to listen to those that are ignored.

And that’s what poetry is all about.

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