I fell in love with poetry when I was eight-years-old. My father bought me a notebook for school, but I decided to scribble a few lines in it instead. The mere idea of breathing life into everyday words blew me away and I was smitten from the moment I held my pen to my notebook. I showed them to a teacher of mine and she told me to continue. Twelve years later, I have not yet stopped.
The magic of poetry — be it about a celebrated living being or a life-changing incident — lies not in the magnanimity or essence of the subject itself, but solely in the words that constitute its formation. Poetry does not belittle or glorify the poet or the muse. It does not celebrate the living or the dead. It celebrates words, alphabets and language itself, for it finds beauty in the language in which it is written. I have always believed poetry to be cathartic. Whether you read heartwarming sonnets that highlight the infinite vastness and encompassing nature of love, or free verse poetry about issues that are often kept under wraps — for that moment, the reader stops merely existing, and is transported to a world of meagre words with heavy implications. Perhaps it is just me, but the idea of a few phrases evoking a range of emotions within an otherwise busy mind, leaves me in awe of the beauty of language and creativity.
It is oft-repeated that a poet is known for their work after their demise. History stands witness to this as well. The love of poetry is often deemed impractical, for in today’s world, everything must be black and white. If something fails to rake in wads of bills, it is seen as worthless. Perhaps, that is why poets in the past were not well-endowed financially, but it is those very poets that live on through their words today. Poetry does not connect with humans on an economic level, but reaches for chords deep within the confines of the mind and soul. Within the world of poetry, one finds solace and peace. Poetry is greatly underrated in these times. Even then, one cannot help but be moved, should they choose to watch videos or read material written by others who have been impacted in ways that needed to be penned.
Poetry is an art that transports you to a disturbed child’s diary while you are looking for comfort under the cover of your sheets. It helps you visualise the pain felt by a victim who met with a terrifying fate and lived to recall it through their writing. A few words on paper express greater human emotion than any bouquet, box of chocolates or diamond ring ever could. Poetry is essential in our lives for it finds a way to weave into our routines. It lives within all of us; through the nursery rhymes we teach our children, the tiny handwritten notes we leave for our loved ones or a simple message that we write for someone we miss. Poetry is and always will be a powerful force that cannot be denied, that sweeps us all in its entirety, in ways we never seem to comprehend.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2015.
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