Fellow author Brantwjin Serrah is passionate about the value of deepening the understanding and appreciation of poetry: for itself, but also for how it informs prose-writing. Recently, she wrote an insightful article on this topic, featuring fragments of two of my poems, among others. In the article, she declares that:
…learning to read poetry is equally as important to learning to write it.
Upon reading it, I felt it made such an intelligent argument for the value of poetry, that with her permission, I’m re-printing excerpts of it here. I’ve written poetry from a very early age, winning first prizes for poems when I was 11, then 12, as well as studying it intensively through drama and theatre training. Writing poetry is something I can’t seem to help, so I have felt it was important in the past to gain some study of the actual craft.
Personally, I’m drawn to the form primarily because of these two elements: its many plays and permutations of rhythm, and its insistence on finding new, and evocative ways to express things felt and observed. You see, I’ve always loved dancing and disliked cliches.
After writing Talking Shop: Poetry as a Tool for Better Writing, Brantwjin also felt sufficiently interested in my erotic poem Threshold to feature an “unpacking” of the poem in her “Reading Diary”. This is the first time anyone has analysed one of my poems (that I’m aware of), so it was a slightly nerve-wracking experience, waiting to hear what she saw in my poem! However, reading the analysis was intriguing, and I’m relieved to see that much of what I wished to convey is apparent to the reader (this reader at least). I’m also delighted to hear that some elements are more open to interpretation than I had initially thought. (More than two players in the erotic encounter, really? Wonderful!) In this way, the poem can mean different things to different readers; they can insert themselves and their own narratives of desire into the poem. I believe this is one of the aims any well-crafted writing can hope to achieve.
So, please read on to hear more of Brantwjin’s keen observations on the craft of poetry, and the benefits of reading and writing it: Continue reading