Poetic expression is more than just a series of words written together to describe a person’s mind or feelings. It is rather an art that weaves words together with imagination, emotion, passion, dreams, hopes and an uncontainable energy that calls out to the people around, as if a protagonist on a stage reading aloud his lines and gathering fellow actors to join him and sing a song or recite a tale.
This protagonist, being the centre of the choir then sings out various harmonies to knit different people and their characters together, marking the beginning of a new time for all those who watch as their breaths run high. It is such creativity that poetic expression captures and spreads out to the hearts of thousands who would read it.
In my view, the three elements to poetry are thought, creativity and expression. It is these three elements that form Poetry and define a Poet.
Poetic thought is characterised by deep sensitivity to one’s environment and a sound philosophy possessed by an individual, which in turn stir a person’s heart and question things. A poet’s mind cannot be contented by the mundane or carried on by the status quo; it is thirsty to seek out the human condition and to look deep into people’s characters.
What is the purpose of the life of a child? It is to play and to be loved!
What does the heat of the summer sun, when absorbed by the body, evoke?
It evokes nostalgia, comfort and a will for togetherness.
Therefore, it is this poetic thought that drives the poet’s mind and whilst people walk in the crowds indifferently, the various fragrances, and the expressions on people’s faces call out to the poet to think, and all this then is transformed into poetic creativity.
How deeply proud are some people’s faces. Oblivious to the inherent respect they possess for the dignity of their own characters, they continue to walk in the crowds, only to invoke a creative change in the poet’s mind. Poetic creativity stems from an embattled thought process and seeks to draw images or create a story that does not yet exist or may not even do so. It is a poet’s pride and privilege to imagine people and the world in a way that has never been thought of.
We all enjoy works of art in the form of watching a film, listening to a song, appreciating a painting etc. but the poet enjoys the imagination to create such an act in his mind. On the left is a photograph that I clicked on a hill in Budapest since my creative mind perceived that an act of imagination could be carried out on this picture.
I imagined young men dressed up in waist coats sitting opposite young women wearing elegant red, white, or black coloured gowns. The sun has almost set but as the light poles with flamboyant stems stand tall by their side, these couples can feel the warmth of the yellow lights on a summer evening as they dine and express love.
Possessing such a richness of creativity, the poet then gives form to it through poetic expression, which leaves this imagined scene for people to admire.
Whereas the people read poetic expression to stir up their spirits and emotions, the poet takes pride in creating this vision through imagination and bringing it to life through expression. Below is a poem that I composed, imagining what one of those young men would say to their partner:
On this summer evening,
The Sun set,
The air still,
Sit around you,
Tell you of my love,
As the warm yellow lights
Above us, shine.
Given that poetic expression involves a deep thought process, the interconnection of a poet and the environment, and the ability to create a poem for thousands to read and dream of, it is my firm belief when a poet’s heart is rooted in a philosophy of profound dignity and celebration of distinctness of human life, pieces of art can be created that will bring people of different ethnicities and backgrounds together.
A poet’s heart that possesses such a powerful philosophy of genuine value for life, can be a beginning of this process of thought, creativity and expression that can leave people to wonder after reading an act, where previously all of those figures in the crowds that walked indifferently, now enjoy the different hues of characters and skins like quenching one’s thirst on an intensely hot summer day.
Not only this, works of poetry, rooted in the belief that every individual contains a power to fundamentally drive their lives, can also serve as a clarion call for people to live out happy, confident and free lives.
It is with such a philosophy and intent that I write my poetry.
This article was originally published in August 2010 by the Transcend: Art & Peace Network.