This thing we call poetry is not a literal art; it is not prose, it is not fact in the sense that one often views fact. It is a creation to express and inspire a certain emotion from the readers. We call on our experiences, of course, and those of others, but a poem is not meant to be a literal description of one's life and situation at the given time, necessarily. We draw on what we have and borrow what we don't, we create, we fabricate, but in all cases, we express a feeling or a situation in hopes that someone else will share it....
Okay, let’s go over it again. This is a poetry site. It is real, the people are real, the emotions are real, and the words are certainly real.
We are people, poets, writers, readers, whatever, but we are real, we laugh, we love, we eat and breathe. But the things we write about, however true or insightful or emotional, they are not always reality for the person writing the words in that particular moment. Its called poetic license and it gives us the right to change reality to fit our words and our words to fit reality. It allows us to exaggerate, to stretch the truth, hell, it gives us the opportunity to downright fabricate a truth in the name of our art. We are writing to inspire emotion, a feeling of some sort, to express a feeling or an emotion, to vent a feeling or emotion. That does not mean that the words have to be descriptive of our life or situation at that moment, only of the feeling we are trying to express.
When I write of sitting and watching a thunderstorm, it does not mean that I am at that moment sitting and watching a thunderstorm, only that I am feeling the awe or fear or whatever emotion thunderstorms might inspire in me and I want to share that emotion with others. Or maybe I am only imagining that feeling. Maybe I am only describing a thought someone else expressed to me and I put it into my own words.
We are people who turn life, feeling and emotions into words and put them down so that someone else might share that feeling or emotion. Much as songwriters and musicians do with their music, we create a mood. It may not be the mood of the moment, but it is a mood we understand, if we are to express it successfully. In that sense the words are true and the feelings ours.
When I write of loneliness and unrequited love, when in reality I am in a happy and comfortable relationship, I am not lying, I am only remembering those emotions and in doing so, feeling them again. Sharing them with you. If I write in anger of an unfair love, it is certainly emotion I am familiar with, though maybe not at the moment. This is not a literal art that we practice and to try and make it one would limit us severely.
So don’t use the word lie to me in relation to my poetry and the impressions it might create. If I were to literally live every poem I write, I would be even crazier than I already admit to. This is an art form, a creative process and I use this process to the extent of my ability with no apologies to anyone. As I’m sure we all do.
I am the person you see here….every one of them in one way or another. I am the erotic lover, the angry spouse, the romantic dreamer and the cynical realist. In that sense I guess I do live every poem I write, as I hope others will live them with me. But don’t base your hopes or plans, your life or your heart on what anyone says on this site, because, in most cases, it is written to everyone, not to a single person. It is written with love, with anger, with passion, with angst; it is for you…for every one of you who reads it.