To write, good poetry, powerful poetry, one must first feel and feel deeply. There is a certain truth about poetry, a certain honesty that speaks from one heart to another. There is, I’m certain, also a kind of desperation that demands that feelings be put into words, words be crafted into lines and stanzas and then, the poem is born – struggling for breath, perhaps, but “breathing” and viable and able to be saved by the craftsmanship of the poet.
How does the poet craft those feelings, intense and enflamed, into a poem others may relate to? By taking the feelings (pain, loss, loneliness, joy, love, et.) and finding images that will make them relatable to the feelings of the reader.
Let’s say we want to write a poem about “Loss.”
Starting with the five senses: see, hear, taste, touch, smell, and then adding the “sixth sense” how we feel emotionally about what we are writing, we can then capture the mood, the meaning, and the message of our feelings in words, in poetry.
I feel the emptiness
where once you stood
like fog upon my skin
thin layers wrap like string
around the broken layers
of my heart I hear
like beating drums the prayer
I offered in the night to keep
you safe to keep you whole
to keep the sweat and leather scent of you
alive to know again the salty
taste of lips brushing like a quiet
prayer against my own and the shine
like sunlight on the surface of the sea
that seemed to emanate a halo golden wings
when whole and living in this world
together you and me – SAK (7/16/2022 – all rights reserved)
If the feelings are there, the poem is there. Let go of inhibitions, of restrictions, of rules, and simply give yourself over to the writing of the poem, to the images that only you can craft, to the poem that will free you and touch us to our very core.