“We are afraid of the power that poetry holds”, I once heard a wise woman say. And I do believe that with every piece of my soul. I felt it myself. I was afraid to write poetry because I thought I wasn’t going to do it the right way. I was afraid to recite poetry because I thought I wasn’t going to do it the right way. I was afraid to read poetry because I thought I wasn’t going to understand it in the right way.
Truth to be told, I feel relieved to have discovered that there is no right way to write, recite, read, understand poetry. Everything about it, about the way it is percieved… is completely and utterly subjective.
Some people define the concept of poetry as a confession of the writer. I am of the belief that it is also a confession of the reader, as well as a confession of anyone who recites it. Each individual may percieve differently a piece of poetry, reason why… we are afraid of it. We are afraid that, by writing poetry, we offer the wrong people a sneak peek into our souls. We are afraid that, by reciting poetry, we put too much of ourselves in it. And we are afraid that, by reading poetry, we might feel it too much; it would make us seem sensitive, or even weak.
People are weird creatures when it comes to showing their feelings. They would let everyone see their happiness, their success, they would talk proudly about the positives in their lives, of course post about this on the internet, for the whole world to see. But they would rarely let anyone see through this window of happiness and see the sorrow behind achieving something they are proud of. They think that basically showing that they have feelings is making them seem… weak. The truth that I see, however, is that hiding your feelings does only make you less human, while owning up to them, embracing them, talking about them (especially when it comes to the negative feelings) only makes you appear stronger, braver.
And most of the last category is filled with poets. We do put our feelings down on paper and then out for the world to see. The best part is that almost everyone will relate. The worst part is that only a few will admit to this.
It is sad, isn’t it? To see how many of us are just afraid of poetry…