What Ever Happened to Poetry?

Life is poetic, isn’t it? We have poetic love, poetic writing. Some people talk in poetic ways, it's beautiful. But what ever happened to poetry? It always seemed when I was growing up that we were always writing poetry, or reading poetry, or analyzing poetry. Is that why so little of us write poetry at all now? Was the joy of it torn away from us over time? 

For myself, the loss of poetry feels like a wound I haven't figured out how to heal. The passion isn’t there nearly as much as it was, but the yearning to write is just as strong as when I first started. The words come to me, but dissipate just as quickly. It’s an endless cycle of desperately trying to fulfill the need I have to write but getting frustrated when I can’t write the way I could years ago. I give up quickly, it makes me so sad that I’ve lost the ability I took years to build and I couldn't pinpoint how it happened even if I tried. Maybe it was the teacher in elementary school who criticized my lack of punctuation. Maybe someone told me I wasn't good enough? Or being forced to write in a strict format for a grade. The creativity and emotion stripped from the most emotional form of writing.  

a hand holds a pen writing on sheets of paper on a wooden desk. there's a coffee cup and a notebook in front of it.

But here's the thing, while I’m currently struggling to write something as simple as two lines coherently, I haven't given up. I think that’s the best advice I could ever give someone in my position; just keep going. Even when the only thing you can get out of your head is jumbled up words, or the first sentence to a poem you never plan to finish, at least you are writing something down. We might have to take ten steps back before we can take a step forward. I might be on my eighth step back right now, but in two more steps it might not seem as hard to take a step forward.  

But I couldn't possibly be writing for just the lost passion of poetry. This is for every passion once loved and now forgotten. Did you paint when you were younger but the pressure to be better got the best of you and you stopped? Dust off your paints and try again. You used to sing your heart out but cruel people silenced you? Sing louder than their words. Loved to write but worried too much that no one would like it? Rewrite and find a place to show your talent. Nothing will ever be perfect on the first try. You need to grow, learn, and just keep going.

HCXO, Becca