Realizing You Are a Poet

slide_21

People often tell me they cannot write poetry. They say they do not know how. They say they do not think that way…whatever “that way” is. These people are wrong. If you think you cannot write poetry, here is proof you definitely can.

Poetry Is Not What You Think It Is

Poetry isn’t one thing. There’s a dictionary definition, of course, but that doesn’t encompass all of what poetry is.

The definition of poetry is also a prime candidate for subjective or personal interpretation. For example, my definition of poetry goes something like this:

Poetry is condensed language

Think about that for a second. Condensed language. Well, you speak in condensed language. You speak with verifiable sounds and rhythms.

You Speak in Poetry

Language itself is a condensed way of expressing larger ideas. So, one might say:

Poetry is to language as language is to reality.

Or something like that. With speech, you condense incredibly complex ideas into nuanced constructions that are often highly open to interpretation. You speak with poetry.

Poetry accomplishes the same things as language in general. Maybe even more so. That’s because…

Poetry is Storytelling

All language is storytelling. When people write, talk, sign, or wave, they’re telling a story. Poetry is no different. There’s a narrative, even when there isn’t.

screen-shot-2012-04-03-at-10-09-20-am11So let’s put it together. Condensed language plus storytelling equals what? If you look closely, it equals everything.

When you tell someone you’re running to the store real quick to pick up some condoms and cigars, you’re actually telling a story using poetic language. Because you ARE a poet. We all are. Or maybe we’re all poems. Who knows.

When did you realize you were a poet? If you never realized it before. I hope this helps you to reach that conclusion. Write something, poet.

More Random Thoughts by Silencio Barnes

More on Writing Poetry by Silencio Barnes

What Do You Think? Let me know with a comment