5 Questions with Poet and Self Love Philosopher Melody Godfred
Melody Godfred’s debut poetry collection, Self Love Poetry: For Thinkers & Feelers, centers around a deeply relatable experience: In the midst of her busy life, Godfred suddenly realized she wasn’t prioritizing herself. Now, with the release of her book, Godfred hopes to show others how she rediscovered and grew this important relationship. The writer and entrepreneur chatted with Read Poetry about her writing process, her radical approach to self love, and how her jewelry business shares surprising similarities with her poetry.
Kara Lewis (KL): You’re known as the “Self Love Philosopher.” What does this mean to you, and what does this look like within your writing?
Melody Godfred (MG): I’ve spent over five years exploring what it means to love yourself and sharing my discoveries through my work as a poet and as the founder of the self love movement Fred and Far. I coined the phrase Self Love Philosopher to describe myself because my work is as much about asking questions as it is about writing poetry. A philosopher is a “lover of wisdom”—someone who asks questions, shares ideas, and is committed to learning. This is perhaps the truest expression of who I am, both as a poet and as a human.
My latest work, Self Love Poetry: For Thinkers & Feelers, embodies what I’ve learned thus far, especially the notion that true self worth and esteem are born from embracing all aspects of our authentic selves—which includes both the thinker and feeler in all of us. Self love is an ever-evolving concept and life practice, and I’m grateful to explore it, honor it, and share it through my work.
KL: How are poetry and self love connected for you?
MG: I reignited my lifelong passion for writing poetry thanks to my commitment to self exploration, awareness, care, and worth over the past five years. Poetry is how I’ve reclaimed my authentic self. Although I was incredibly creative as a child, writing original poetry and music from the age of seven and later going on to study music in college, something shifted in me as I approached adulthood: I tucked my right-brained, creative essence away into a box in an effort to let my left brain lead and protect myself by choosing a “safer” life path. I became an attorney and went on to check all my boxes: I got married, had kids (twins in fact), and settled into a stable life and career. What I cultivated was a perfect life—one that my true self was missing from. Once I made this discovery around 2015, I committed to practicing self love and self care daily in an effort to rediscover myself and realign my life. Self Love Poetry embodies everything I discovered as a result of making this profound commitment to myself. It also reflects my return home to my true self—which includes being both a left-brain thinker and a right-brain feeler.
KL: The collection pairs “thinker” poems—poems that explore someone’s analytical side—alongside “feeler” poems, which speak to emotion. Why did you choose to structure the book this way, and how did writing poems in pairs affect your writing process?
MG: When I first decided to write a poetry book, I had already written over 500 pieces of poetry. But when I tried to make sense of my poems as a collection, I was faced with a huge disparity: some were incredibly analytical, while others were more emotional. At first, I couldn’t reconcile them, until I realized that in embracing both types of poetry, I could achieve the goal of my self love journey: embracing all parts of myself. By pairing poems based on central themes, I was able to reach a new level in my writing. The magic of this book is that no two people will have the same experience reading it. Some will connect with left-brain thinker poems, some right-brain feeler poems, and some will connect with both. There is no right or wrong way to connect, and there is no better side (left or right). The hope is that ultimately, even if one side is more immediately resonant, it will still activate the other parts of your heart and mind for a holistic reading experience.
KL: In addition to being a poet, you’re also the founder of Fred and Far, a self love jewelry company. Does being a poet and being an entrepreneur mirror each other in any surprising ways?
MG: In 2015, when I first realized how desperately I needed to give myself the love I give everyone else, making the requisite shift in my life felt nearly impossible. I was so used to putting everyone’s needs above my own that I didn’t know how to create space for myself. So I decided to wear a new ring on a new finger (my pinky) and use it as a daily reminder to commit to myself. I already had an engagement ring, so I knew the power a ring could have. If I wore a ring to embody my commitment to another, why couldn’t I also wear one to remind me to choose myself? That’s how the first Self Love Pinky Ring™ was born, and soon after led to my movement and jewelry company, Fred and Far. It was through Fred and Far that I first started writing poetry in an effort to help my community translate self love from a concept into a daily practice.
Entrepreneurship has been an incredible foundation for my work as a poet. Instead of waiting for divine inspiration, I commit to writing every day. I treat it the way I do my e-commerce business—something that requires my intention, care, and love. Entrepreneurship has also taught me that the work is not about reaching a specific outcome at all costs—it’s about being in the journey and making sure the work honors who I am. I’ve made many pivots over the years to ensure that the business remains authentic to me and in alignment with my values and needs. The same is true for my work as a poet. When you read one of my poems, you’re gaining access to the truest part of who I am, the deepest feelings, the richest thoughts. I’m incredibly open in both my work as an entrepreneur and poet because I believe that it’s the only way to truly connect with an audience. My readers can feel my heart—and I can feel theirs.
KL: What’s next for you creatively?
MG: In January, I’m releasing my self love workbook, The ABCs of Self Love: A Simple Guide to Loving Yourself, Reclaiming Your Worth, and Changing Your Life. It includes my philosophies around self love concepts like authenticity, boundaries, gratitude, and surrender, in addition to beautiful illustrations, typography, and journal prompts. For anyone who wants to love themselves but isn’t sure where to start, The ABCs of Self Love is a gentle, joyful introduction.
Order Self Love Poetry: For Thinkers and Feelers here.