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Why I Write Poetry (And You Should Too)

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Lately, I find myself with almost too much to express through words. I’ve had innumerable intuitive insights, just beyond the grasp of the mind. But instead of trying to explain these feelings of knowing in the intricate, formalized details of prose, I find myself writing poetry.

“The desert attracts the nomad, the ocean the sailor, the infinite the poet.” – Author Unknown

Poetry is, in my opinion, the best way of bridging the gap from the spiritual realms to physical reality. Have you ever had times when you feel something within? Something infinitely deep and profound? Not thoughts per se, but an intrinsic feeling or calling. You don’t know what it is, but you know it must be metabolized and expressed, and poetry provides the perfect outlet. Poetry is the doorway to the land of unseen mystery.

“Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.” -Carl Sandburg

Poetry is the plasmatic buffer zone between intellect and intuition. It is the most effective mechanism for the distillation of timeless wisdom and truth. All of the great teachers and philosophers spoke in a very poetic manner. Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, Martin Luther King Jr, John Lennon…etc. They all expressed themselves through forms of poetry. Poetry is a means of conveying the deepest of truths to people operating within the bounds of language and mind. It’s a delicate balance, describe something too much and it loses its essence. Describe something too little and it loses its capacity to be shared. That’s why poetry harbors such an alluring, mysterious beauty.

“Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” – Plato

Long, detailed explanations and lists, while being informative (on the level of the mind at least), lose the inherent nature of what is trying to be conveyed. You’re trying to convey a feeling that is beyond the mind, with the mind. It’s almost paradoxical, but that’s why poetry works so well; it’s half of the mind (logical/ rational) and half of the heart (intuitive/ beyond logic/ illogical / irrational). Poetry is an etheric sprinter, one leg – mind, one leg – heart, powerfully propelling forward. And as quick as you glimpse its magnificence, it’s over.

“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry utilizes words, but what it describes is beyond words, beyond the mind. This is why, although it consists of words, poetry can appear illogical. It is the medium that translates the language of the heart to the language of the mind. It is a way to explain the unexplainable, without over compromising its essence. Poetry is a hint at the divine inspiration residing just beyond the grasp of the mind.

“Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry.” – Georges Braque

Something like a painting can be too abstract for a message to even be conveyed. Something like detailed prose can be too rigid, too diluted by logic, that it loses its intuitive wisdom. Poetry is the bridge, linking the completely irrational heart and the completely rational mind. And that bridge is something to behold.

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” – Plutarch

Before I ruin the essence of poetry by over-describing it, here’s some quotes on poetry that I love:

“I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.” – Socrates

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” – Robert Frost

“One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.” – Voltaire

“Language is fossil poetry.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Poetry should… should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.” – John Keats

“Poetry is the robe, the royal apparel, in which truth asserts its divine origin.” — Beecher

“A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.” – Edmond de Goncourt

“Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.” ― Carl Sandburg

Make your life a brilliant work of poetry.

-Stevie P!

Stevie P