Poetry is not a dead or obsolete literary medium however, it is supposed to transition with the times, and is supposed to reflect the culture of the poet, his world-view, beliefs and experiences. Poetry has a wide area of application; as long as an experience can be perceived by any of the five senses, it may the subject matter of a poem. As such, if you should look beyond the cliche topics of poetry which include: love, loss, hate, death, romance, hurt, dreams, and the spiritual aspects of life, you will be able to find an even broader spectrum of topics and interests that could constitute on of your attempts at poetry.
My lecturer for a creative writing poetry course I took, scolded me because of the Old English type of overtone that was present in the ways I expressed myself. This was especially as a result of my plight to swat and copy Shakespeare, Wordsworth and other such writers from the past with words like: thou, behold, thus, therefore. The lecturer wasted no time to remind me that they were dead, and along with them, the ways they expressed themselves in their own lifetimes.
She encouraged me to pay close attention to my syntax, rhyme scheme and word-choice among other things, so as to make sure that I expressed my thoughts from a unique place on the inside that all of us possess. I found this whole concept of poetic voice to be true when the lecturer, after teaching us for a couple of weeks, could tell which student wrote a particular poem even though no name was written under it.
After I scrutinized my own writing over several weeks and studied a poet of choice who had a similar cultural experience and voice to mine; the poet Yusef Komunyakaa. I received commendations for my rustic Caribbean voice that finally emerged and also for the way that this improvement complemented my overall writing talent. The lecturer told me that I was a gifted writer.
She encouraged us to read widely after we located our individual voices, in order to construct a huge repertoire of poetic expression and understanding. She is a published, prize-winning poet and has a personal collection which spans hundreds of publications from all over the world, which she constantly expands, she also reads at least two poetry books a week. These tips will certainly turn you into that wonderful poet you can be.
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