Ever since I began writing poetry, being advised on how to hone my poetry chops and rein in its power by my creative writing professor, Laurence Lieberman, circa 1991, I must admit that this is a topic I’ve pondered over and again throughout the years.
So, I’ll begin with my personal definition. Poetry is the alchemy of prosody, that connects us to the multiverse of eternity by infinity via creativity, through the incorporation of imagination and all the elements of ubiquity. Poetry dwells in the words we write and speak, making all the world our metaphor with its words as our language and its rhythms and sounds the source of our code, even within this digital age of information overload.
In today’s society, we find ourselves immersed in an internet seemingly powered by trends, that’s being oversaturated by the world wide web with anything and everything people may (or may not) want to know about all subject matters. Regardless, it’s here to stay as a continually expanding resource, with the Arts alive and well on the web and Poetry as one of its permanent pillars. Although many people swear up and down that it’s dead, the mystery to me is why they’d believe such a fallacy. I’ve come to the conclusion that these people just cannot fathom there’s a clockwork of spirits including myself and many of my comrades and contemporaries, call us imagineers (or the new avant guardians) of pyrotechic poetics, keeping poetry relevant and vibrant and taking pride in manifesting its power.
Albert Camus once said, “To create is to live twice.” This is probably the reason of reasons that I write and continue with my writes. It allows me the luxury of dwelling in the possibility of my words and works living beyond me when I die. Herein this idea of immortality lies an illustrious, and perhaps the most noble, power of poetry; although, in my mind, it is merely the capstone of many, encapsulating the infinite and eternal excursions through the continuous lens of consciousness.
I also believe poetry to be an echo of the innate music of the soul embodied in words. This is what I’d consider the next great power of poetry, because it enables us to impress upon the pathos of humanity to voice concern for the sake of the unspoken heard living in visible silence of society’s margins. It is from this music that we learn to play by ear, so to say, and write what we feel, pulling directly from the emotional spectrum, molding words from all that affects us in this world.
I’ll close with an amalgamation of abilities that act as the lifeblood of poetry and keeps it flowing, which is a definite power to be reckoned with I’d have to say. According to Shelley, “poets are the unacknowledged legislators.” We are soothsayers and truthsayers; warriors armed with words to be placed into action; protectors of the Univearth in search of the multiverse; believers in the ways of the scale and defenders of right versus wrong, resisting ignorance; lovers of life who know when to laugh and why to cry; and creators of our own fate.