Happy International Poetry Day!
Instead of posting a poem, which I do all the time, I’ve decided to turn to the music world for a gift. When I realised it was International Poetry Day, the first song I thought of was All This and Heaven Too by Florence + the Machine. For me, this song has always been about the struggle with putting into words all that we feel inside, that language does not always manage to describe the worlds of feelings that we encounter.
but with all my education
I can’t seem to command it
and the words are all escaping
coming back all damaged
and I would put them back in poetry if I only knew how
I can’t seem to understand it
— All This and Heaven Too by Florence + the Machine
And isn’t that what we struggle with everyday? Finding the words, comprehending the words that are offered to us and the search for their true meaning.
Words are representations of real things and abstract things. But each word has additional meaning that are specific and distinct for each person because of their experience with these words. A curse word has one meaning but how it’s used is dependent on the person and the listener. One person cusses all the time but because they come from, maybe, a brusque environment that it’s normal to use such language and so it doesn’t carry as much weight and power and intensity as a person brought up in more conservative or refined environments.
The writer has to be aware of how each word sounds and what experiences it might trigger and has to be careful with each word that they print so as to reveal, not just their meaning or what they want to say, but so as to reveal themselves and their listeners.
This is the struggle. This is why I love this song.
Thank you to the prophets, the poets, the seekers of truth, the bleeding hearts, and the listeners.
Thank you to the people who participated in the Poetry Turnaround/Exchange on e-mail, and the one’s who’ve sent me poems just because.
Thank you for all the words.