It’s no secret that I love poetry, most especially the old english poets and our very own Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. I also only read non-fiction books and autobiographies, and if I do watch TV it’s always documentaries or American Greed or other real-life stories. Somehow, I think these are all connected in my belief that real life is much more interesting than anything we can make up. Poets write about what has shaped their life and what they are feeling at the time. They make no excuses. They are real and raw and look at the world from not only a different perspective, but from one we can actually see through their words. Poets somehow know how to put words together that makes us feel…something. The poems that stick with us the most are the ones that come from pain, and war, and relationships, and love, and family, and poverty, and hardships, and nature and everything that makes our life, real. Happy poems are nice, but nice isn’t real life. All Documentaries are great, but are much more compelling when they have faced and then overcome, hardships. Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is a love story, but a tragic love story, and that’s what makes it memorable. TV shows about greed and crime and murder bring us all to a whole new projection on humans and the tragedy that we all live through.
I am drawn to images of rainy days at cafe’s. Sometimes, the drudgery and mundane-ness of life is the most beautiful. If you think about it, the truly great poets are the ones who wrote about their lives and the everyday occurrences. The more tragic their life is, the more tormented they are, the better the poetry. John Keats was a sickly man who lived most of his life in a secluded room. He fell in love with Fanny and yet, due to his illness, could only see her pass by his window twice a day on her way to town. He wrote of his torment daily and although he died at like 24, he has become one of the greatest poets of his time because he wrote real stuff. Real heartbreak and real sickness.
It may be a bit of a stretch for some people to want to read poetry. I get that for sure. I remember having to read “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by Keats in high school and my first thought was ‘who in the world would write about something so dumb’. But then I read it. And who doesn’t love the Rime of the Ancient Mariner with the forever quoted “albatross around his neck”. Tragic! yet we can all relate to getting lost at sea and the struggles faced by the mariners.
Our lives are one big, giant poem. Write it down as you live it. Good poems depict life. And sometimes life can be shitty. And when it is, the poet can lovingly say ‘thank you for the tragedy. I need it for my art’.
With love from Grand Haven,
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene II