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My Philosophy on Poetry

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If you asked me before attending college if I would be in a poetry class, I wouldn’t have been able to answer you. I enjoyed reading poetry, but never enjoyed writing it. It may be due to the set types learned.

My final assignment was my philosophy of poetry.

–       I thoroughly enjoyed my advanced poetry course, and I am glad I was able to take it. I learned many stylizations and poetic styles. I found the textbook knowledgeable and descriptive. The poetic inquiries brought about many unanswered questions. There are some that I questioned myself while others did not come to mind. I enjoyed browsing and skimming the textbooks from poets brought into class. I enjoy the structure of the course and activities. The poetry games were my favorite, as I was able to experiment with specific focal points and styles. I learned new techniques and went outside of my comfort zone. 

–       Poetry is: “the expression or embodiment of thoughts or feelings”; “to celebrate…profit or delight”; “a sequence of words that induces a noticeable physiological change”; “an escape from emotion [and] personality” that only those who have one or the other understands what it means to escape (Inquiry Two Packet). Poetry is using abstractions of concrete aspects and tangible things regarding abstractions of life.

–       In the words of Dead Poets Society, “We do not read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we’re members of the human race.” Poetry is for all people in every walk of life. We write poetry because it brings a new way of seeing the world and understanding the innate psychological aspects of life. As someone who loves psychology, literature, and the arts, poetry is a blend of the three.

–       Poetry allows a person to be in the sublime of nature and conscience. The world seems different through a poetic lens and mindset. “A good poem is a contribution to reality,” concludes Dylan Thomas. 

–       But what is ‘good.’ We cannot understand the meaning of what, so how are we supposed to categorize a poem as good or bad? Instead, poetry, and the humanities as a whole, is a matter of likes or dislikes. Saying something is good or not good is a subjective bias matter. It is like asking your mom for her opinion on an outfit. Maybe she will sprinkle the truth in bias because ‘you’re her kid’ in a way to prevent upsetting you. Saying that you like something is subjective. Therefore, anything with words can be a poem as long as arousal or emotion evokes.

–       A person cannot develop creativity. It is innate. We are all born with creativity because the Creator created us. 

–       When I’m stuck while writing poetry, I take a break, seek new inspiration, or try a technique/game we worked on in class. I also use psychological therapy techniques such as word association to help inspire me.

–       The role of revision is to make a new draft and bring another layer, a revised layer. In a way, revision is just re-visiting work from the past. 

–       Any topic is acceptable in poetry. The genres and focus can vary on what makes the poet passionate. Race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, dis/ability, and other identity categories can intersect and bring people outside of those into a moment of understanding. 

–       Poetry is transparency. The heart speaks. It is evident when the poet is not ‘feeling’ their words.

–       My favorite proponent in poetry is figurative language. I learned so much from the elements of poetry in our textbook and even from my poet interview. Sensory details and imagery bring the words off the page. I love the visual aesthetics of movement. My favorite type of poetry is ekphrastic. 

–       If we can read poetry, we have a better understanding of who the ‘writer’ is and how to write it. If we can write poetry, we have a better appreciation for those who read it.

–       I read “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” in lit theory during my freshman semester. That poem stuck with me because I analyzed it in three settings. Each setting, I chose a different color. Being able to see the deeper understanding brought perspective about poetry.

–       As a future teacher, I will incorporate a modern and diverse selection of poetry than exposed to in middle and high school. Before my creative writing course last semester, I enjoyed some poems but thought it was too hard to try. Prior, I remember having to right acrostic, haiku, shape, diamante, couplets, and other structured styles. I did not realize the freedom poetry can have when explained as a boxed structure. I also was accustomed to reading British poetry and Shakespeare, a traditional teaching method that I strive to change in my classroom.

–       I feel like too much pressure and ‘glorification’ on British literature within English and the humanities. Because many people in the arts are influenced by British literature, we focus it as the ‘backbone’ rather than the launching pad. By launching pad, I mean we should reference the ‘start,’ but look towards the future of modern-day and diverse poets. 

–       Some authors recommended that I enjoyed are Rupi Kaur, Li-Young Lee, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ezra Pound, Monica Youn, Morgan Parker, and Gloria Anzaldúa. I also enjoyed the anthology A Garden of Black Joy: Global Poetry from the Edges of Liberation and Living.

–       I found the poetic inquiries to provide great discussion and thought of questions that were pushed back and not put into perspective.

–       I am leaving the course with knowledge and appreciation for poetry. My excitement for it grew as I learned techniques, approaches, and methods when writing poetry. 

2 thoughts on “My Philosophy on Poetry

  1. Great to hear Grace! I was the same way until these reads.:) Thanks for commenting!

  2. I am not into poetry, but with all your inquiry and explanation. It sounds very much like something I will enjoy. I will definitely consider purchasing one of those books.

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