The question is part of a Newsletter sent out by a poet whose words I read regularly.
Who reads poetry? Why? How do they find it? What is it about the poetry that appeals?
Poetry is a field of words I don’t work in much. I read it. Some of it is inspired. I like reading those words. Some of it inspires.
I work with the words that inspire me. That’s what draws me in — what I can do with how those words make me feel so I can make my own story, how I can build something using those tightly-woven hidden meanings from depths created (and clarified) by so few words.
That’s how I see poetry. That’s why I read poetry. I read to be inspired. These are the words that keep me moving, seeking, searching, digging, smiling, questioning.
Poetry is a form of words I don’t write, though.
I can’t do the form of words that would inspire me to go deeper. I have too much to say, and I need more words. I am not clear-cut, not a word-weaponiser, but a wielder of words.
I leave the passion of poetry to the true poets, and I use the way they see meaning in the world. I present that interpretation to the watchers as something more than mere words, because that’s what the words made me feel.
Reading a few words of a poet was how Herja, Devastation came about.
It is how life came from words.
I read one of Frank Prem’s poems. Free-verse, about a man who doubted his purpose in life. It wasn’t stated as flat as that, but that was how I felt the meaning behind the words.
It inspired me. I asked if I could use it. At the time, I had no idea how I would use it, if at all (there’s another one, about a long-drop dunny; still thinking about how to put that into a story — watch this space!).
From that interaction came a longer discussion about how words did things to the people who read them, how we each had a theme-based cache of poetry and stories that could meld together, based on the concept of the initial piece.
We made something. Put the pieces together.
It’s different. And to me, it’s compelling. The words I first saw compelled me to feel something deeper.
I felt the connection between those words and me and the world around me, the people and their paths in life.
And that connection grew into a tapestry. The tapestry became a new story, a sharing of words to a wider audience.
The question: What do I like about poetry?
In short, I like how I can steal the emotional context.
Oh? That doesn’t make sense, you think. Let me share my tag-line with you: Fibber, Fabricator, Teller-of-Tall-Tales. I am not all people, but what I know of life can be part of my experience, part of yours. I’ll just pretend it’s all mine, and speak it from my perspective.
Stories are a collaboration of teller and experiencer. A joining of minds by words.
That’s where the whole story of Herja came from – a collaboration of contextual moments joined by how words created a feeling of something different and powerful.