Poetry Is Not A Profession, But a Condition

Poetry Is Not A Profession, But a Condition

To all my dear poets who understand the struggle
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Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

A lot of good poetry doesn’t rhyme.

I like haikus.

Poetry is a strange thing. Technically yes it’s just words. Pretty words. Yet so many people have such strong feelings about it? I remember in high school English classes whenever we got to the poetry unit, people would groan and complain like it was torture. I would feel an intense burst of joy. YES. Drown me in free verse, smother me in limericks, bury me in haikus. Please, let me try writing all of them. I am young and I think too much and for some reason my thoughts only make sense when I write them rhythmically with slight musicality in well planned organization using literary techniques. I feel better when I create poetry. It’s healing.

When I first discovered this beautiful release of poems, I also realized it would not go away at the end of the English unit. I couldn’t give this up. So I kept writing, everything from a simple quatrain to a more challenging villanelle style if I felt ambitious. I fell deeply in love with Robert Frost, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. I began submitting my work for publications and became a very happily published poet. However, poetry really isn’t a profession, you can’t turn it off. Not everyone can do it. If you can, it’s not always a blessing. It’s really a condition.

There are symptoms of poetry. You think way too much. People will tell you this as you stare off blankly into the sky planning your next poem or rant about the meaning of existence. You have ideas pop up for poems at terribly inconvenient times that cannot be ignored, so you carry a journal and pen at all times. This means pulling your car over, stopping your hairdresser, sitting on the floor of your local walmart, to write your ideas down. You will speak uncontrollably of your favorite poet as if they were a god or goddess and will not tolerate any criticism. You often utter the phrases “You just don’t understand it.”, “It’s art”, or “You have to read it more than ONCE.” Your laptop is your child/significant other. You want people to read and love and understand your work but would also have a heart attack if any eyes other than your cats saw it. You need poetry. You need to read and write it in the same way you need food and water. And when you can’t write anything good it drives you mad. Maybe you understand a little bit why a lot of poets went crazy. Maybe you feel a little bit crazy yourself. It’s ok. We all do.

If you have the poetic condition, I am sorry to tell you there is no cure. But I am excited to tell you that whether you believe you are talented or not, you are special. You have a voice, a voice that needs to be heard. Especially now. Poetry doesn’t all rhyme. It isn’t all in perfect lines of four, that’s what makes it beautiful. Each poem is a piece of your own uniqueness. I encourage you to put your voice out there. Let your art be absorbed. I can’t wait to read it.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=poetry&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3-9vSs6XTAhUJ0IMKHZQfD4MQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=662#q=poetry&tbs=islt:svga,isz:l&tbm=isch&imgrc=h9M-uubfT-wRWM

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Yet Found Herself, Keep Looking

You will eventually find her in all the right places, I promise.

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They say you are supposed to go through your awkward transition phase during middle school, but you still feel like you haven't quite figured it out. They say you are supposed to join a club in order to "find yourself", but then you end up sitting in the back watching everyone laugh and catch up. You feel out of place--like you're existing somewhere you just don't belong. Let me be the voice telling you that you are exactly where you are meant to be right now. Every decision you've ever made has led you to this place. This is, of course, much harder to grasp than to just say. Really though, you're doing just fine!

Finding out the things you don't like to do are just important as discovering your passions when it comes to finding your true self. Don't be afraid to join that club, talk to the girl next to you in class, and explore your interests. You might hate it. You might want to run away, but at least you're learning about yourself and where your comfort zone lies. Finding yourself is a life long process, so don't expect an Aha! moment where you have finally hit your destination. Think of it more as a sense of confidence of comfortability in who you are and what you stand for.

Stepping away from friends and family for some time may also lead you to who you are. Often, we grow up and mature only to have the same beliefs, morals, and political opinions as our parents. It's not our fault and we aren't childish, we just trust our parent's judgment and see their conscience as nothing but truth. Part of gaining independence is questioning your own biased beliefs and reevaluating them so they reflect your character better. Same goes with friends. Try to spend a Friday night in with yourself. See what you do. Do you watch a movie? Do you catch up on homework? Do you paint your nails? What is it that makes you feel happy when nobody else is around? By considering the answer to this question, you're one step closer to figuring this whole life thing out.

You may also want to try stepping away from your phone. Your social media (this shouldn't come as a surprise) is giving you the false idea that everyone around you knows exactly what they're doing and enjoys doing it all. Not true. So not true actually, everyone else is struggling to find out just who they are. You and your phone need some distance.

Finding yourself doesn't just happen. You need to explore the world around you and you'll eventually find out where your place is. Be patient with the process and know the right steps will surface when you're ready to take them. Be kind to yourself and have the bravery to discover the girl inside you (I hear she's really cool).

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