22318. “Have you ever written a poem?”

A poem? What is a poem?

A witty limerick?

A tranquil haiku?

A spirited epic?

A yearning ode?

,

A poet? What is a poet?

Is it someone who spits bars?

Someone who ponders philosophy?

A child rhyming words for the first time?

,

This is what a poem is:

It’s the beauty of words on paper

The glory of lines on a screen

The quintessence of a writer’s soul

This is what a poem is:

It pierces the heart, the soul, the mind

It is a cry in the night

An anthem to the stars

,

This is what a poet is:

It’s someone with ink in their veins

It’s someone who swims in a blur of words

Weaves them into ineffable forms

Carefully threaded with the truth

This is what a poet is:

It’s someone who can pull lyrics out of their brain

In a 4-beat refrain

(Or maybe less because they know they’re the best)

It’s someone playing with words as a test

Learning to catch and throw

Soon juggling words like a pro

,

So have I ever written a poem?

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

We’ll see how we go.

.

– Y.L.M


Happy World Poetry Day!!! Now go out there and read poems by poets far better than I!!! 😄

Lost as to where to start? Here are my top 3:

  1. O Me! O Life! by Walt Whitman (I used this as a related text in high school, and the true test of how good a poem is, is that I’m still not sick of it even after analysing it. This is my favourite poem of all time… so far)
  2. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou (It gives me goosebumps every time I read it. And every time I read it, it makes me want to shout it from the rooftops! A very close second to Whitman’s O Me! O Life!)
  3. If… by Rudyard Kipling (Relevant for all genders, even if it explicitly refers to boys. Ignore it, because this is a checklist of life! If you can confidently check these off then you, my friend, are an upstanding, world-class human being. If you’re like me, however, and aren’t quite there, don’t despair! ‘If’ leaves an ample amount of room to grow!)

And some more of my favourites:

  • The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (I’ve had to analyse and read this poem so many times, but it’s still somehow managed to stay with me!)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Makes you really think about and appreciate what you have)
  • Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou (Please read this one. Read it for yourself, your partner, your mother, sister, aunt et cetera, etc. Just read it and share it with everyone!)
  • Invictus: The Unconquerable by William Ernest Henley (Classic. Absolutely timeless.)
  • If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda (In my mind, this is King Arthur’s love letter to his love, Guinevere. Blame BBC’s ‘Merlin’ for that line of thought.)
  • In Memoriam [Ring Out, Wild Bells] by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Perfect to read on New Year’s Eve, or if you’re on the verge of a change.)
  • Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas (Now this is one hell of a cry into the night.)
  • Bright Star by John Keats (I didn’t expect to like this one as much as I did, but if you get someone who can read it well – like, say, Ben Whishaw – then you’ll understand my love for it.)
  • Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (I studied this one too, but it’s quite enjoyable to read out loud, which I did have to do once. That usually helps increase my liking of a poem: having to read it out loud.)
  • Almost any poem by Dorothy Parker (I have a book of her poetry, and if I want to read a poem, I open it up to a random page and read. She has a wicked wit and her use of rhyme accentuates that perfectly.)

And more I will no doubt discover the more I read poetry! Enjoy!

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