Saturday, September 17

The Truth About Poetry

The thing about poetry, is that most people often associate it with depression/sadness/breakups. I think there are a few reasons for this, however, what I really want to get at is that a lot of people write poetry on these things because the feelings evoked are so acute.
Last night when I was pondering the meaning of life (yeah, I'm weird like that) I came up with this image in my mind of negative emotions being irregular, sharp, and crude shapes. When we feel it with our hands, it's easy to pick out the depth and sting of our emotions. Its very nature is raw and jagged, giving us splinters in our mind and soul that are all too easy to feel. In a way, writing about negative emotions is much easier than writing about positive emotions. With sadness, we remember it longer. It's asymmetrical, odd, peculiar. It begs to be noticed and felt, whereas positive emotion does the exact opposite.
I like to think of happiness as being round and smooth; giving way to nothing irregular or discomforting. It's very nature in that sense, gives a writer very little to hold on to or become 'caught' on. It's warm, and comforting. It smooths away turmoil and everything that punctures our thoughts. It simply glows, with an aura lacking uncomfortable keenness. I don't mean to suggest positive emotions are not intense, they are. What I do mean to suggest is that unlike sadness, which gives us a clear template of feeling to work with, happiness is much harder to write about. In a way, it simply is. What words would be sufficient to describe that?

In this way, I can only think that those who write such beautiful prose on happiness are more skilled than poets who only take to the pen in times of extreme duress. While both those who write negative and positive poetry both contribute beauty, those who write on happiness take a concept with so little obvious clues as to where to start or how to proceed, and weave elegance from a circle that never ends.

I think, I want to be able to write like that too.