National Poetry Month: Poetry is My Main
I’ve always wanted to be a poet.
A master of metaphors,
stretching out experiences
one line at a time.
Bleed in black ink,
they are not alone. -Jasmine Farrell.
When I was a little girl, I used to write stories in the language of the toddler. I was so fluent, I’d sneak downstairs to my late Grandmother’s bedroom and write my eloquent scribble scrabble in her memo pads, she scolded me to stay away from. I’d read my stories aloud to my mother, and she’d nod in admiration of my words as though Langston Hughes had reached our home on 638 44th street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I’ve always been fond of poetry. However, when I was in the second grade, poetry pinched my heart like clothes pins to sheets on clotheslines in backyards.
I never noticed my love for poetry until I was thirteen years old. I was overflowing with repressed emotions, lack of freedom, “Mom never understands” and crazy for a boy who didn’t care to know what my favorite SlipKnot song was. You know, the usual thirteen-year-old angst on love and coming of age. I needed an outlet to release, an outlet to share whatever was going on with me (I still have my stack of composition notebooks filled with poems and songs). However, I didn’t choose to be a writer then. I desired to be a fashion designer. I knew how to sew, sketch countless designs and I even had a brand name in mind.
I attended Fashion Industries High School wide-eyed and ready to become the next Ann Lowe with fishnet cut off gloves. However, during my fashion classes, I would find myself writing poems and stories. I would rush through my fashion assignments so I can finish a poem. I’d shove numerous poems to, the editor of My Quintessence, Andrea Lauren to read and rate. By my Junior year, I joined my high school’s literary magazine called, The Hanger. The Hanger editors took us students on a field trip to a poetry event that featured Major Jackson and that event is what hooked me in. That event grabbed my love for poetry by the collar to take writing seriously. There was something about observing the various voices, poetic devices and forms utilized on one platform that made me realize I could share my story too- via poetry. I remember a teen reciting a poem who obviously practiced internal rhyming faithfully, that detailed the story of gold diggers. Another student did an acrostic poem on women being called bossy for simply having leadership skills and I was floored at her use of alliteration. After that event, I knew I wanted to be a creative writer, especially a poet. I researched various poets, poetic devices and forms. I decided to major in English once I arrived at college. I began writing short stories and Christian spoken word pieces. I joined my college’s newspaper for a few semesters and submitted a few of my poems into poetry contests.
After publishing two poetry collections, de-converting from Christianity, beginning the journey of self-discovery and performing at various venues, I realized why poetry is important to me.
Writing poetry is the preeminent route to express me. Storytelling has always nudged my shoulder since I can remember. To encourage, enlighten and cause a few chuckles, writing is the way to go for me. My grandparents, on my mother’s side, were unintentional storytellers and hearing them merely planted a seed.
I write poetry because that’s where my memoir, voice, soul, and heart resides. My “When I was little” wounds reside in the crevices of allegories. My heartbreaks and love stories leap off pages with internal rhyming. My views on social justice and humanitarian issues scream free lyric and grittiness. Poetry is my biography and my introduction.
Storytelling is a great form to share the lessons that life has taught us. It connects us and reminds us that we are not as alone as we think we are. Whether an oral tale or a written one, stories can become our getaway, our teacher, our paper friend, and inspiration.
Why Do You Write Poetry?
** The original write up was previously published I merely updated it and spruced it up
My third poetry collection, Long Live Phoenixes, is now available in Paperback and E-book on Amazon.