Poetry is experience, documented.

But then so are stories, articles, school curricula, books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, movie/play/musical scripts, sermon/seminar notes, etc.

In short, wherever there are printed words, then there is captured the human experience: merely in differently structured formats.

As humans, we are, and we do. That is, we experience.

And some of us particularly like to record, and then share our experiences. Poetry is one of those ways that it can be done.

John Keats said that, “Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.” Certainly, not everyone finds poetry soothing or emboldening. In fact, some never find it at all.

And most never create it.

Yet for those who do imagine life mysterious—or at least they recognize that mystery is part of life—then the quote above can be quite insightful.

That’s because some aspects of life do not make sense and never will. And so, when we read or hear of others’ experiences, somehow it makes it easier for us to resolve ourselves to the never knowing, but still peacefully living.

We also learn from poetry, just as we may learn by reading a book. That is to say that poetry does not only revolve around mystery but can be centered on the common.

Poetry moreover often plays out in the moment; being partly defined dynamically by the creator, the reader and the preferences. It can be inspiration, consolation, insight, reflection, metaphor, purpose, value, etc. To state it differently, some drink water and some drink wine. Some find reassurance in an Algebra class, or in reading the Bible, or watching a film. And some in poetry. In each case, we have the chance to better make sense of the world, as long as the medium and the message speak clearly to us.

The Expressers

I believe it takes a certain kind of person to express experience in a poetic fashion. I suspect that they must:

  • Appreciate words.
  • Value rhythms and rhymes.
  • Easily see symbols, allusions and metaphors.
  • Make time for observation and reflection.
  • Be able to feel viscerally.
  • Like to write.
  • Be alive.


© 2019, Alignment Life

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