So eloquently put by Robert Frost, poetry is "when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."
That is an accurate definition of the wonderful yet sometimes confusing art of poetry. Though some don't even define it as an art. I used to think poetry was a bunch of words piled up together that held no meaning. At least that's what I felt when I read things in my English class sophomore year. "I have to find out what this means?!" I thought to myself as I researched some poetry and found a poem called 'Lara' by George Byron, in which the first couple lines state this:
"The Serfs are glad through Lara's wide domain/ And slavery half forgets her feudal chain;/ He, their unhoped, but forgotten lord-/The long self-exiled chieftain is restored..."
Is anyone else confused? I still am to this day, because no amount of digging would get me to the meaning of this medieval sounding bundle of nothingness. One thing I didn't keep in mind is the time period though. George Byron, also known as Lord Byron, wrote poetry during the Romantic movement.. also known as the 18th century!!!
Having a set idea on what poetry is based on a couple poems you have to write/read in high school is a poor lens to look through. So here is an opportunity to grab a new lens and be open to the possibility of enjoying the art that is poetry.
Modern poetry is popular in all circles. If you haven't heard of the book "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur, you have been living under a very uncultured rock. This book is a collection of poems that consist of topics such as love, heartbreak, femininity, violence, the list goes on. Some poems are short, some are long. Some make more sense to certain people, and some make no sense to people. I like describing it in this way, although it sounds too simple, but that is what poetry is.
Have you ever wanted to say something so badly but you didn't know how to express it? You feel a stirring, breaking, or even a burst of color in yourself, but it's almost like you can't put it into words? Let's look back at Robert Frost's quote: "Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words." Looking at poetry as an outlet is one way to look at it. A beautiful, creative, expansive, thought-provoking outlet that doesn't have to make sense to anyone but you. It's simple in that way, because you are hardly trying to please anyone, you are just expressing yourself. It's raw and it's real.
I think the best kind of poetry is unplanned poetry. I was talking to one of my friend's parents, and asked the random question of, "When was the last time you wrote a poem?" He looked at me and chuckled out the response of, "I think in high school." I asked him if he would ever consider writing poetry again, and he responded with the expected, "I don't even know how. I don't think I would be good at it anyway."
Writing poetry can sometimes feel like your mind is hurling onto paper. Imagine a mess of emotions and thoughts traveling inside your body from your brain through your head, down to your shoulder, across your arm, onto your fingertips, then finally reaching the blank page. Sometimes you don't know what to expect. And that's the best part.