A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. ~ Robert Frost
I once thought that a poem had to rhyme: Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. I then moved on to a more poignant idea that a poem should have rhythm: All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, and to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. Walt Whitman.
Now I understand that any feeling, expression, concept, story, memory can be written as a poem. It may not be the entire story, it might only be a snippet of passion a poet feels when expressing a thought, but by placing it on paper the fervor becomes a poem that can be both rhythmical and metaphorical.
Salman Rushdie says that a poet’s work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it going to sleep. This may be true, but it seems to me that just by writing a poem you express yourself in your private, personal way and you may never share it with another person. Once written, it’s then preserved to be shared or not. Anyone can be a poet. There should be no fear in it as the fulfillment is so great in being able to say anything, express anything, it doesn’t even need to make sense!
Sharing your poetry can be enlightening, both you and the listeners. If you’ve never been to a poetry reading, you’re missing a wonderful thought-provoking experience. After a long hiatus, the Bend Poetry Slam is being reincarnated at Bend’s Astro Lounge on the second Monday of each month beginning at 8pm.
If you’re a poet (new or seasoned) this is a great opportunity to read some of your work. The slam is open to all poets who have the bravery to perform original pieces in front of a rowdy audience in three minutes or less. Five judges randomly selected from the audience score the poets and advance them (or not) to subsequent rounds.
Organizers say this newly reincarnated slam seeks to embody the spirit and energy of the old slam, with perhaps a new flavor. (See page 7 for short article on the poetry slam)
In keeping with my premise that anyone can be a poet, here’s a little stab at one I recently wrote:
When he told her she was in complete disbelief
Not the unveiling, but the withholding of the truth
She tried to accept his reasoning for not sharing
But the lack of trust was excruciating raw
She felt that a piece of her heart had broken off
And was trying to wither itself back in place
Does love take hold or does hate terminate
The sensational feelings that had grown between them?
There are no false premises of fate or synergy now
Only the unleashed truth that changes the future
And sets the illusion in motion. pha
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher