Written by Liz Newman
The modern poetry movement is giving readers a whole new poetry experience that allows people to fall in love with the art form all over again. In this new age of poetry, there are endless styles, subject matters, and unique voices that are changing the way we read poetry and the way we define it.
I took the opportunity to interview some poets from the community for what I’m calling The “Poetry Is…” project to find out how each writer defines poetry and what it means to them. It was such a great way to connect with writers and to feel a sense of community as we came together to discuss the passions we feel for the written word. It has solidified what I have always known in my heart: poetry has the power to bring people together in a myriad of beautiful and heartwarming ways.
As you read this post, I’m sure you’ll find a lot of common ground with these poets. My hope is that this starts a larger conversation where we can all reflect on how poetry has changed us, shaped us, and defined us.
1. “Poetry is… the stunning use of words and silence. It is essentially your soul speaking for you. It comforts us, heals us, and helps us feel less alone. Poetry is the stillness inside all of us allowing us to experience our innermost turbulence in the gentlest of ways.” –N.R Hart
2. “Poetry is…freeing. It’s releasing 10,000 hyperactive butterflies from the storm inside you. What isn’t written will turn to chaos. We have poetry to set us free.” –Tiffany Simone, DirtySweetPoetry
3. “Poetry is…reality and fantasy in a pretty package. It doesn’t always have to make sense, it just has to make magic.”
4. “Poetry is… some type of magic. It can break you apart and heal you all in one poem. It can be exhilarating and soul crushing and scary all at once. Poetry has been a lesson in accepting my softness and fragility and also discovering my strength. Poetry really has saved my life.” –Gemma Troy Poetry
5. “Poetry is…speaking with the heart once the mind is quiet.” –CW Poet
6. “They asked me what poetry was, and as few things have, it stole my speech for a moment. All I could think to say was that Poetry is… taking an ache and making it sing.”–Tyler Knott Gregson
7. “Poetry is…a form of mindfulness in which I focus deeply on a feeling, a moment of time, or a topic. Poetry allows me to embrace the light and darkness, joy and sorrow, the love and the pain which weave through the tapestry of life.”
–John Mark Green Poetry
8. “Poetry is… a way for me to express the things I often can’t say out loud. It reconnects me to old feelings, new feelings and all feelings in between…Being able to write and shape feelings into words that other people can relate to, connect with and rely on is a big responsibility and one that I feel very humbled by. –Courtney Peppernell
9. “Poetry is…the culmination of authentic, soulful pain being pulled from the body and then transforming into healing balm by way of written passages.” –Alfa
10. “Poetry is… the pain, the beauty, the light, and the dark, secrets held within alone, longing heart that grow too big to keep. It is things that words set free to become a story with moving parts that belong to all who read.”
–A. Shea Writer
11. “Poetry is…an escape pod to a very real, fictional dimension… It’s a cliffside waterfall for emotions to free fall into sweet waters of spoken freedom. Which to me is the best remedy for spiritual imbalance. Unsaid words and suppressed feelings have the power to end life. I’d rather use that power as poetry and save life.” –Word Bender
12. “Poetry is… a form of healing. In the midst of my addictions, when no one was around and the recovery meetings were over for the day, poetry was always there for me to use, to become vulnerable with in the darkest moments to usher in a little bit of hope.” -Jon Lupin, The Poetry Bandit
13. “Poetry is…my sanctuary. It’s a place where I can unweave whatever is tangled up inside of me, even if it hurts. Poetry is the weapon and the healer.” –K.Y. Robinson
14. “Poetry is…healing, light, and love. Poetry is what keeps us together when the world around us falls apart. Poetry is everything, forever and always.” –Kiana Azizian
Poetry is so much to so many people, but above all else poetry is being defined and redefined every day by the people who live, breathe, and feel it. Poetry has given us a community to share our hearts and to express our souls.
We are being given this incredible chance to come together and get excited about poetry and our role in it. Now, just one more thing to consider: if you’re reading this, what is poetry to you? Tell us on Instagram @re.adpoetry.