Sunday, May 8, 2016

Being Poetry - written by Sheikha A.

Being Poetry

Poetry is transportation. Where many definitions have been and continue to be penned about explaining or stating what poetry is about, each one being substantial in its own, my idea of poetry is meditation. I started writing poetry from my teenage years, being heavily inspired by the classical poets like Byron, Gibran, Rumi, etc. leaning on the spiritual and philosophical hills of expressing, and the idea of finding a connection with the universe’s expanse with the current situations of my life always found me contriving towards greater or deeper meaning. Poetry is not meant to be dissected – even though, it is for various academic purposes, but as a personal stance, I prefer to live the verses like natural breathing. To leave the mysteries of a poet intact, without depriving the author of their secrets, poetry can be understood, embraced and adopted in its purest form which is to be simply read and accepted. The art of expression is free, whether poeming, painting, song writing, sculpting, collaging, crafting, etc. the basis remains one, and that is ‘discovery’. Allowing a creation to emerge from your mind and soul is a true release of energy. Most creations have found much criticism in being either positive or negative in its form, but if society does set barriers of expressions for reasons of curbing controversy or harmonizing ethics, and if we grant them for being correct in their enforcements, the beauty of an artist is in breaching those boundaries and attaining their expressive freedom through surreal, subtle, or even metaphysical forms.

Art is a vessel that can accommodate the bad, good, ugly, dark, evil, graceful, beautiful, and compassion all into one. It can hold each of those elements together in aesthetic cohesiveness whether fragmented, refined, coarse or absolute. A person should never stop expressing, even in non-artistic methods; one can create and build, the important aspect of it being in action. Dormancy can lead to several deaths of a single idea that can produce a sense of stoicism leading a person inwards into their own cyclones, which ultimately results in destruction. It can be argued that the most active minds could be the most destructive too, which is true, but there is always an immanent suppression of some kind towards or about some system that bred like a sore, never having found an outlet for releasing.

Creative expression is a study of psychology in itself. I have been able to comprehend many poems much better now including those that I studied during school years from having first understood character and behavioural sciences of conduct. Most times, we were asked to study into the background of classical poets in our education system to gain insight about their life and experiences which lead them to write what they wrote, and understand the social and political hardships that influenced their writing. The romantic poets of those eras, too, had some element of imbalance in their writing that extended beyond just the fa├žade of separation culminating from unrequited love.

Every piece of expression, in any genre or form, has a hidden story – the unknown and the unknown-able regardless of the deepest meditation or thought we subject it too. Poetry, for me, in particular, has always been a telling of secrets without offering too many details. The metaphysics of it is in about being attuned to the allures and curiosities of the higher realms, and wanting to understand how our life can affect the whole, or vice versa. There is an undeniable coercion of self-discipline by and on oneself, to sit amid the whirlpool and increase the ratio of patience as the whirlpool rages from the harshest to mildest mode, eventually dying down like a mist settling on the ground around us whereupon we sit. It is in that short lived moment where the whirlpool takes a break before gathering dust into swirls is when we see the light or epiphany or truth or answer, or whatever it was we sought.

In my writing of poetry, I have oscillated between various styles of writing, becoming easily enamoured by words I read from emerging or established writers, looking at artworks or reading about people’s lifestyles, preferences, appropriations, tendencies or even opinions, and always wanting to find an association or a way to relate to be able to co-exist even in the massive or smallest of differences, and looking for a balance of respect that can run mutually, if not in acceptance of another’s culture or religious representations, but in understanding their way of life, is what every form of Arts should ideally be about.

Poetry is one form of arts that is most intricate because of its tool – which is words. A poem can actually fail if it doesn’t deliver its image or essence. The same could be applied to other forms as well, but poetry has a duty to submit. To be able to arouse, captivate, invoke and evoke all through written renditions, connotations, suppositions, presumptions and alterations, all of this using words. Words are studied, and in many cases worshipped. Words are like a mass of clay in a potter’s wheel. Through words births the written act and form of poetry.

My poems have dwelled on many subjects, but mostly a search for belonging, emancipations, spirituality and love – finding a connection between the latter two. Only recently, since the past year, that I began to wallow in the dark arts, and the evil that motivates people towards degeneration that I’ve written many poems trying to depict every possible side of it, and continue to discovering newer facets through watching real life cases and experiences. Of late, I realize I may be subconsciously mingling the dark with the nuances of love and spirituality because upon reflection, I tend to surprise myself with what I wrote. Poems that are written from meditation – driving to your centre, closing that sphere and banishing the outside from entering – are ones you truly write uninhibitedly. It is also difficult to achieve that sphere, but poetry is its ongoing process, one I am continually striving to attain.

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