Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Inner Poet


I read an article this weekend that really resonated, and reminded me I've been neglecting a big part of myself: The poet. I have been enjoying my days and finding little joys everywhere, but I haven't been stopping to smell the (hypothetical) roses. 

A poet finds beauty in the minute and the grand. She stops and meditates on the qualities that make it whole and finds the most specific and evocative words to pair with her observations. The poet gives our souls references, jumping-off points to take with us on our days as we observe beauty ourselves.  It is the poet's role to see a sunset and describe it in words we can recognize, agree with, and apply to the sun setting before our own eyes. It takes a slow pace and a heightened awareness to think like a poet, and I've been remiss.


I think a few things have gotten in the way. Social media, with its fast-paced updates and comments require quick wit and shallow thought. Conversations with friends move faster, and seem to have less room for contemplation and a real absorption of words before one offers her response. Parenting itself often requires thinking on my toes, and reacting with cat-like reflexes to a cry for help. 

There is room for a lot more reflection, contemplation and poetry in my day. In preparing dinner during the kids' nap time, there is pause (while stirring the sauce) in which I could use my sensory observations, pair them with memories and metaphors, and piece together a poem in my head that captures the simple essence of a butter reduction. Just for my own heightened enjoyment. During a quiet moment during our afternoon walk, when the sun is warming my cheeks and I begin to recognize signs of spring around me, that is totally poetry in motion. 


It helps me slow down, construct my thoughts deliberately, and really mull over my initial reactions. When I don't give myself the time to think and feel, how do I know what's important? What's special? What's worth letting go of and what's worth celebrating? I don't. Because without poetry, I don't recognize the beauty of my own, unique thoughts as they filter through my head. What a disservice to myself.

So today, I am beginning to work on slowing down, making an effort to pause and really reflect before writing, speaking or otherwise offering a few of my thoughts to anyone. I am reading more of my favourite poetry and on the lookout for new pieces that speak to me now. I will write some of my musings down and tuck them away in my desk drawer to revisit later.

I leave you with a stanza from Robert W. Service's The Spell of the Yukon and hope it resonates with you northern readers, even a little bit, as we exit winter and enter into the most renewing of seasons: spring.

"There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
   And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
   And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
   There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a landoh, it beckons and beckons,
   And I want to go backand I will."


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