When I was lost, far away from myself and anything familiar, I found you. Or rather, you sought me out and found me. Poetry came in search of me. These lines by Neruda echo in my head ever so often. They hold me closer to my center and make me experience an almost spiritual intoxication only a few might’ve known. But I am well aware that not many share this pleasure with me. Not all find solace in the written word for in a capitalist society, what is the worth of a sheet of paper? Words mean nothing. Words, mean everything.
So here’s my case, a simple sentence to try to convince you to immerse yourself in poetry, after which I’ll let poetry make its own case- Speak it into existence. I’m sure you’ve heard that when you tell yourself something enough number of times, you start believing it. And the actions follow. This is not the universe’s magic where one can manifest what one wants just by saying it out loud but a rather logical exercise where if you start having faith in the cause, you begin working with more sincerity which inevitably reflects in better results. So where does poetry feature in all this?
We’re all far from writers. We hardly ever know exactly what we feel and even more scarcely succeed in expressing it in language. I, for one, am struggling as I write this hah! But that being said, the most beautiful poetry is honest. The most poignant words are the ones laced together by a delicate rhythm the common man is incapable of building. And hence, with the lyrical flow of meter that your mind is conditioned to remember as a song, and hum every now and then, this poetry gets etched into your very life, making the things you found most truth in, REAL.
Here’s an example-
Give us back our suffering: These words were said by Florence Nightingale in context of the hijacking of narratives of minorities that we still see taking place. We’ve all felt alone, beat down and the receivers of injustice. But if these words kept reinforcing in us that strength, that control we still carry within ourselves by being the ones to OWN that suffering, wouldn’t it be sweet? Wouldn’t it be magical to be able to pull yourself out of the incessant urges to crib and just focus on how much you’ve grown? Because indeed, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. That’s the Joker for ya.
PRO TIP: Poetry isn’t limited to the lines written by poets. Find something that might resonate with you in lyrics of songs or even film dialogues. For a start, here’s a great spoken-word piece by Sarah Kay we all might relate to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHHzHu289Ws