I am not a poet. I shouldn’t really have to say that on here, should I? If you’ve read even a few of my posts, you’d know that I have a very conversational style in my writing; I write as I talk, and I am not a poet in my conversations, either.
Most of the time that doesn’t bother me. I’m not much on reading poetry, either. I memorized the first few stanzas of Sir Walter Scott’s “The Lady of the Lake” when I was a kid, and I gained some appreciation for Emily Dickinson in my freshman creative writing class in college, and I struggle to appreciate John Donne because of my abiding love for Lord Peter Wimsey, but really? Poetry is a closed book to me. I can scratch together a few lines for a Christmas present for a family member, or put together a little poem to hang next to a baby picture on my littles’ bedroom wall, but using poetry to express my innermost feelings? Not gonna happen.
And then I read people who write prose so beautifully that it reads like poetry, those blog posts that dig into my heart, those words accompanying a recipe in a cookbook that make me want to bury my hands in flour and build a legacy, those lines in a book that shine a light on feelings that have been obscure even to me. And I wish (oh how I wish) that I could write the same way. That even if I can’t write poetry, that my prose could be deep and rich and beautiful and speak out of the chambers of my heart, right into others’ hearts.
But I sit with my fingers poised over the keyboard, or twirling a pen above a blank page, and what comes out is my usual light chatter instead. Even when I am writing for myself, that doesn’t change, so it isn’t that I’m afraid to expose my inner self to others. Or is it that, is it that I have hidden myself away from others for so long that it’s become an ingrained habit, something I can’t break even for myself?
This post here is more stream-of-consciousness than I usually write. It’s about as close to poetry as I get. I do have a poetry blog that I started several years ago in an attempt to develop a more poetic side, but it’s been gathering dust for many months. Maybe I should start working on that again?
I don’t want to stay in the shallows, with my writing or with my life. I’m not afraid to dive into the unknown deeps when it comes to my life. I shouldn’t be afraid of stretching out with my writing, either. Light entertainment is fine, and even good, at times, but I don’t want that to be all I ever write. I want to make people think, and feel, with my writing. I want to use my writing to convey at least a part of the beauty and wonder I find in this world, this life.
Maybe I just need to take a deep breath, and dive right in. No fear.
I wrote this over a period of a couple days, but I have not edited anything (well, aside from a few spelling errors). An attempt to stay raw and not polish the truth away from my words.