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Why do I Write Poetry?


Education does not end in educational institutions but continues in the life and work outside the world, when one comes out of the portals of schools and colleges to Nature, arts, science and so on. Most of our time is used for the day-to-day activities which produce only monotony, frustration, depression and so on. It is not enough to spend one's life in mundane things only, which would certainly make the world too much to live for everyone. Each one should use the special power within to explore the nature of things that exists everywhere and enquire the principles or the truth behind them so that the helplessness of man or the ills of human beings can be overcome. There are so many interesting things in life which man has to pay attention to. Unless such an attempt is made social problems cannot be solved.

Drawbacks in All Walks of Life

There are a lot of drawbacks not only in education, religion, economy, administration, judiciary and politics but also in culture, civilization, journalism and arts affecting the society unaware and making it go on in the same old beaten tracks without giving hope in new thoughts, ideas and changes. So, innovations and novelty are very much needed for the society to breathe fresh and healthy air. Therefore the writers have an important job to do in the modern world to bring about the necessary changes relevant to the present and the future functions of the people of various walks of life. The thoughts of this nature have made me to write my views towards the betterment of the society in which we all live analyzing the problems of human life, culture, civilization, Nature, etc. in the modern world as the subjects of general discussion and find solutions for them.

Social Change Needed

The big question everybody discusses everywhere is why the society is not able to change, reform and develop itself even though there are a lot treatises, discourses, seminars and speeches on social changes. In reality it is an impossible magic to bring about changes in the society over night. The social changes cannot be appreciably effected without convincing the individuals because they are the backbone of the society. Therefore to reform the society, first the attitude of the individuals has to be changed; otherwise, change in the society is not at all possible. That is why in almost all the articles and poetry, I have dealt with the matters of the individuals with respect to the society or humanity as a whole in the world.

Question of Freedom

Even in the modern times in many societies of the world, individuals of great promises are not given the liberty to choose the subject of their interest in education, the work interesting to them and the life they like to live in the future as the so called experienced seniors who have fought for the national or political or social causes do not like to give away their dictatorial attitude with the youngsters for the fear that their status quo would be disturbed and that they would lose their respect and honour in the society at the ripe old age! Further, though there is freedom in many States of the world, because the aspiring individuals do not have liberty, opportunities and scope for development as a result of State control, licenses, social restrictions and favoritism of all kinds, the freedom becomes equal to no freedom at all. Therefore the famous feeling of Rousseau that “man is born free, yet he is in chains everywhere” is quite true even today. Hence it should be realized that without freedom nothing worthwhile could be possible on the earth and so people have to be educated for freedom first before anything else.

Why I Write Poetry

Nature and Art are very important for man because they help to forget worries, give solace, inspiration and encouragement, help to regain faith, hope and spirit and get satisfaction lost in education, work and life. Literature is one of the branches of art. Poetry is the most priceless thing in literature. Poetry is my first love in literature. It is poetry that has inspired and urged me to write about human life, and has made me a writer!

Poetry has the power to sway over everyone because of its lasting echoing effect. Poetry that has no mechanical design but has an organic formation like the naturally grown plants from the seeds to the leaves, the flowers and the fruits, has the power to reach the heart beginning from the eyes or the ears and finally mingle with the soul of man. It has the power to please the senses and bring one to one’s senses. Poetry gives pleasure to heart and at the same time enlightens the mind also and makes the complete soul get animated by its spirit. That is the nature of the best poetry. The poetry that is living in the new form today according to the changes of time and the living style of the people and is popular can be seen in the folk songs, the Cinema songs and the Pop songs of the world. Therefore poetry is a necessity of man and without which human life is incomplete.

Modern Poetry

Nowadays what is expected of poetry is that it should be understood just like a prose piece but at the same time it should be poetic also. It is indeed a challenge for the modern poetry writer. So the possibility for a poet is to adopt the language of the people spoken everywhere. The best thing to do is to use the conversational language for accomplishing that end without altogether giving up rhythm, internal rhymes, etc. wherever they came naturally. So, blank verse or free verse that comes naturally and easily according to the mood and the contents of the poetry finally becomes the best style and method I can practise, which will be easy for everyone to read and understand without any difficulty.

Subject of Interest

The subject of my poetry is the common observation and the discovery of truth in Nature, human nature, human life and activities in the modern world. Like all human beings the knowledge I gained, the conviction I had, the dreams I loved and so many pleasant things in Nature I enjoyed I have expressed in the flexible form of poetry I follow and write. The dreams, the visions, the realities I enjoyed, experienced, I have written in a new poetic form for the reading pleasure of all in the world. If it produces the vicarious pleasure my friends too experienced, I would feel I have done my job well.

Poetry Past and Present

From nothing, unreal and nonexistent thing imagination can produce something, some illusion of reality. It can produce joy as well as fear from nothing. Previously that was the job of the poet. Now the poet has also become a critic of life in his poetry as according to Matthew Arnold poetry is the criticism of life.

Prose and Poetry

In prose also such a thing can be possible. But why have I preferred poetry to prose for my writing purpose? I also endorsed the policies William Wordsworth had proposed to follow for his poetry in his Preface to Lyrical Ballads!

In the fast moving world, people hardly spend any time in reading matters in detail after Radio, TV and Computer have come into use. Today people, to know about the world, the activities of important persons on all walks of life in different parts of the world, Nature, natural calamities and the Universe, read the briefly written pages of some express newspapers and fast moving magazines only. The knowledge of truth about many matters people read in them gives instant pleasure people need and they forget the matters very soon! Truth about eternal things are difficult to understand and people also dislike to read books on such matters written in prose in philosophic or scientific style, because people won’t get any pleasure, understand anything and gain any knowledge at all out of them. In such articles, truth is expressed in bare facts which are dry, dull, lifeless, boring and non-exciting. Those who understand such facts enjoy great pleasure but they are all isolated few only and very meager in number.

Poetic Pleasure

Certainly pleasure is the need before one gains knowledge. The first duty of poetry is to give pleasure. If it does not, it is not poetry at all. Poetry as per the view of Wordsworth is a “spontaneous over flow” of passion, it is “emotion recollected in tranquility” and more than that “Poetry is the first and last of knowledge – as immortal as the heart of man.” Poetry is unique like painting and music because from the passing things, it gives permanent truth producing delight or from the trivial thing, it conveys the Universal truth putting one and all in joy, pleasure and surprise or wonder.

Flexibility of Poetry

Poetry is preferred to prose because it is the most flexible form of literature and art. The compression of many ideas and information is possible in poetry for the rapid reading of more matters; and for the easy understanding of matters the rules of prose can be followed in writing modern poetry. For that, bridging the gap between prose and poetry is possible by the use of spoken words or the conversational language of the public or the common man’s language of the news media we are familiar with. In this way poetry is made easy, interesting and lively for the reading pleasure and remembering matters. But in general prose written well in simple language itself becomes poetry very often! Above all what distinguishes poetry from prose is the descriptive beauty of words, the musical sound of words, the words of human passion or the personal element and the inspiring or the exciting power of words in harmonious unity or in rhythmic form. In short poetry has beauty, knowledge, passion and excitement which are lacking in prose.

Modern Poets

Many people think and still have the idea that the metrical composition or the rhyming verse alone is called poetry. That has become an old form of poetry long ago. Modern poets, following the examples of Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth and others, have relinquished writing metrical verses and have changed over to new poetic forms in poetry. In reality nobody speaks in rhyme or uses complex symbols or images in conversation. In poetry we use imagination like intellect in prose to express truth about reality and abstraction. For this purpose the new poetic form in spoken language is very useful to write freely, naturally and in variety according to the mood, situation and circumstances one is placed. That is why, as a poet I have cut sculpture, drawn pictures and composed music not with hammer, brush and trumpet but with the words people know and speak everywhere in the world.


More by :  T. A. Ramesh

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Comment That we distinguish between poetry and prose is a sign of distinct levels of experience. Sometimes prose is defined as pure poetry. We can discern the difference, but defining it, like so many other experiences of the surreal attained through art, is difficult. Why poetry? Sure, we can start to superficially analyse what poetry is, and, as in your detailed analysis, we can list what poetry is as against prose - poetry is of the imagination, yes, but so is prose; poetry compresses, yes, but so does good prose. Poetry is sonorous, but so is good prose. It is impossible to differentiate, so much so that prose poetry has stolen a march into poetic form. But there is what has by now become a subconscious distinction between poetry and prose.

The history of poetry is one of standing on the shoulders of the past, and the primal form of poetry in all cultures was prophetic utterance or speaking under divine impulse or inspiration. There was early dubbed the authority of the divine in poetic utterance as against the prose or common discourse of the day. Therein is the distinction that has been brought down to this day, even without conscious realisation. When we compose poetry we enter into a sort of religious or prophetic trance as real today as ever it was in the past. Indeed, that poetry was said to be inspired by a muse confirms this, the muse being a spiritual being or genius. In modern times, the 'flattening' of poetic language to prose-like statement still cannot shake of the defining character of the divine utterance, and only in that sense does poetry truly differ from conventional discourse in language.

14-Feb-2016 16:46 PM

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