Until my junior year of high school, I hadn’t given poetry a thought, or a chance. I decided that non fiction, was my first love, and felt it was my last. That’s the thing, I didn’t understand first loves, or last loves, and I’m not claiming I do now, but I do know that in order to love something, to love it hard, you, have to explore it, make the effort to understand it, and fully accept it for it’s truest form. Writing is no different.
I never expected poetry to so quickly grasp me in its arms, and shake some sense in to me. Before poetry I constantly doubted myself as a writer, I didn’t think I was deserving of that title. How did I know I was any good? Poetry on the other hand taught me, that its not always about being good; it’s about feeling. Non fiction allowed me to tell the truth, but only parts of the truth that I wanted to say, fiction allowed me to hide. I was surprised to find out that when writing a poem, every part of me fell on to the paper, and I didn’t know, until I was done, and there was no going back. Not only was I writing poetry, but I was exposed to so many great poets that year, Richard Blanco, Yusef Komunyakaa, Patricia Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye, just to name a few. Exploring poetry, and realizing that every word counts, made me a better writer when it came to fiction, and non fiction. Thats what I mean, when saying that in order to love something you have to explore it, you have to understand the mechanics, and the rules, and the reasons. Now I can’t imagine a life with out poetry. Poetry feels like writing in its purest form. Writing that can’t be harmed by too much emotion, and the slow meaningful process of revision. Poetry made me believe in humanity, and empathy more than I ever knew. Poetry is life through metaphors, too beautiful to ever be ugly, but powerful enough to hurt.
A writing prompt that I constantly go back to, is one recommended by Patricia Smith: imagine the person you have had the hardest relationship with is dead, lying on a marble slab in an empty room. It is your job to dress them, describe each item of clothing that you place on their body, describe the room, describe what it feels like to touch that persons body. This prompt will bring up emotions, you may need to feel, and helped me let go of a lot of things I held on to. If you attempt this prompt, don’t over think it, just go with what you feel. You can always revise later, but you can’t revise words you never put down.
-Mary Feimi, Co-Editor in Chief