Ok, it’s time to admit something which I think is probably fairly obvious, but nevertheless important to express: I’m terrified of sharing my words.
I set up this little Poetry Corner section of my blog with the intention of regularly publishing the poems which I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Somewhat naively, I envisioned weekly posts of my work, transformed into that ultra cool Instragram-style typewriter font and, you know, just generally instant acclaim and choirs of angels singing my praise. But since deciding that I was finally ready to share my words, I’ve since discovered that it is a lot harder than I thought.
I like to compare the act of writing to being handed a big ugly block of stone and a chisel, and then being asked to make something beautiful from it. You chip away at the rock, you scrape and chisel, but no matter how hard you try the end result is never quite what you want to be. It’s never the true reflection of the self you want it to be, and neither can it ever be. Because, you see, it’s cold hard stone, not a mirror, and because this stone can never truly reflect your humanity.
I’m not sure you get where I’m going with this strange metaphor, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s supremely difficult to try and choose the right words and phrasing to express exactly what you want to. Trying to channel thoughts and ideas and emotions into poetry is like trying to thread the entire universe into a needle. It’s frustrating, it’s impossible. But as I’ve said before, it’s ultimately one of the most humanising things you can do.
And so, to slice through all the metaphors, the stone statues and the needles threaded with the universe, what I want to tell you is that poetry is important. For me it’s a very personal and private thing. It’s what I use to solidify my thoughts, and to capture my emotions, and so to share it is to bare the contents and form of my soul to the world. It’s natural to be scared; fear pushes you to be better. But the moment that fear holds you back from what you want to do is the moment you need to reassess what it is you want, and to know that nothing great was ever achieved without a little risk.
And, I suppose, if I don’t put my poetry out there then how will anybody be able to engage with it, to have their own personal reactions to my words – whether that’s a nod of approval, or a sigh of disgust?
So here goes nothing. Here’s to being brave for a second time and here’s to sharing some of the things that mean the most to me.
Watch this space.