At the grand old age of 50 ( and a bit) I am now understanding what Poetry means to me. For many years it was the domain of my father who wrote his own poetry all of his long life. He would occasionally invite me to read what he had been writing but not always, it was a close up glimpse of him and he didn’t always want to be looked at so closely….consequently his poetry was sometimes private. I didn’t always like my father’s poetry, but now realise that was a father/son thing. I definitely liked the fact that he wrote poetry and now years after his passing the poetry he has left is tangibly him and I’m blessed to have it so close.
And then there is my own poetry which over the last few years has been more and more an avenue of expression. As a young man I occasionally wrote prose in between painting or influenced by what I was reading, sometimes it could be turned to as a way to shape an idea… I remember writing a poem to illustrate one such idea whilst studying to be a psychiatric nurse for instance, but then something shifted and I realised it was becoming a preferred way of consideration. This happened in tandem with a change in my circumstances a few years back, poetry had become a direct voice and after this I’ve written more and more, certainly into double figures for the last 6 or 7 years.
I don’t always seek publication but at time of writing have just had my tenth poem published and have several others either in the pipeline or up for consideration, it is a fascinating process to identify where each poem should go dependent on theme or style and they have become much more than something I did in between other things; they are actually a preferred way of looking.
I’ve called this the “poetry blog” because I wanted to graphically say how pivotal poetry is to everyday life and can be for everyone because forming those words that perhaps resonate with others is just about looking closely and stopping for a moment. It took me a while to understand this but now I do it makes so much sense.
And briefly returning to my father, I realise he was doing much the same which pleases me now because I’m able to look at him a bit clearer now, despite so much time elapsing and I’ve grown to like his poetry now that the intergenerational parent/child rite of passage has faded. Poetry has become the thing that bonds us and I never expected that to happen at the age of fifty (something)!