Kshipra is a student pursuing masters from JNU, India. She loves reading and writing poetry and wants to publish her poems someday.
I have enjoyed writing articles, poetry, fiction, etc. My experience with online writing of blogs shows that every time I share a poem it garners less views than the time I write short stories or articles and essays. People are autonomous and so are the readers. They have the agency to choose prose over poetry or para over stanza. I just attempt to comprehend the reason as to why we poets face it- less views. I might be wrong.
Poetry Is Spontaneous Overflow Of Powerful Feelings...
Thus spake the great William Wordsworth. Books on poetry as 'international best sellers' is an idea that is yet to evolve, that does not however mean that the amount of labor put into a poem is less. Definitely not! Its painstakingly huge to compose even a 10 line poem! Contrary to the popular perception , if you are in no mood of pursuing anything does not mean that you can sit to write down poems. 'Time' is no needed variable. Poetry needs investing a heart at that moment that commands the steeds of a particular feeling, emotion or flash of a memory, ripened enough to be produced on a piece of paper.
This poetic bug can bite even when you are doing daily tasks as shopping, reading, writing or grieving over the loss of your pet. Most of the times it just bites and leaves without being cherished in a poem and written into eternity, solely because it came at a time which did not beseech you with a paper or pen or other means. Ask the poets and how their 'powerful emotions' betrayed them hours and hours later when they decided to produce them on a piece of paper.
Sure Wordsworth while espousing the exclamation also added that these feelings have to be recollected in 'tranquility'. This tranquility is not the reference to having lot of time or emptiness but reflective of the peacefulness of a conscience that reflects, perceives and processes our deepest of thoughts with ease. Poetry is like worshiping the deepest core of an eternal soul.
You Can Never Be A Self Critique
Poems save us from existential crises by lifting up our conscience. They inadvertently not just portray the self but also in the process often be a mirror to our deepest secrets, insecurities, misgivings, complexities, dilemmas and imperfections. We are crudest form of selves when we wear the hat of a poet.
Lot of manoeuvring goes into articles ,stories and essays. We write and reflect and edit. Editing a poem is difficult. It breaks the flow and in a lyrical poetry, the rhyme scheme. I have personally experienced instances whereby as early as in my second reading of articles, I have managed to pick out grammatical errors while severest of grammatical blunders have gone unnoticed in the poems even after many readings. Readers have at times pointed them out for me but critiquing one's truest renderings is an uphill task.
We Are The Slaves And Thoughts Are Our Masters
Unlike prose, where we control the thoughts, in poems however, we are pouring our hearts out. That is not thoughtlessness or absurdity. It has more thoughtfulness than anything else on earth and thus we can seldom outsmart our consciousness that knows everything about us and more.
I tried to write a critical piece of essay on the rights of adivasis in India (I do not like the word ' tribe' and its cognates for they reflect colonial snobbishness ) constructing a fictional ordeal of Raju, the lead protagonist. I placed the character, my brainchild (no pun intended), into a self constructed imaginary setting.
Perhaps, such a discretion is not possible while writing poetry. In fact sometimes we go haywire and end up with a different piece of writing than we had ever intended. Perhaps the great Wordsworth would not have thought of ending his poem 'The Daffodils' with the likely impact that they will have in his moments of solitude and upon his 'vacant mood', moments hence!
Or should I say confronting it ? Whatever be its manifestation, it for certain is difficult to comprehend in a poetic form that reflects one's subtle and highly nuanced emotions. Thus the poet becomes the 'I' and 'eye' of Shelley's hymn of Apollo
"I am the eye with which the universe
beholds itself and knows it is divine.
All harmony of instrument or verse
all prophecy all medicine is mine"
Conscience is refined not confused. The beings who confront and try to comprehend the meanings of poems, including the poet as a reader and the audience, are not so refined and perceive only confusions and restlesness out of a well meaning poem that certainly deserves better.
The Way Out
The way is not to stop writing or publishing poems for the fear that nobody would read them or understand them. The beings who write poetry have some of the most creative souls around. Do not commercialize your masterpiece and deride it as something worthless. Your poems are great for they reflect the great heights that an individual and her creativity can reach. They are the epitome of conscience expressing itself in a mundane world and literary gem, worth sharing with humanity and worth preserving. Keep 'poetrying' ...
© 2017 Kshipra Pal
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 05, 2019:
Indeed, this is a well written article which I've had the fortune of stumbling upon. I guess one important point is whether a poet is aiming for commercial or some other profit making venture with their work. Poetry as a whole has never been the top grossing part of the publishing industry. Usually, that belongs to memoirs or even a sci-fi franchise.
However, creating a poem is a labor of love and dedication just as much as any artistic endeavor. Thanks for writing this article.
An important aspect of writing poetry on the internet is interactions with fellow poets as well. This is how poetic communities grow and evolve.
Kshipra Pal (author) on October 03, 2018:
John, your views are really perceptive and insightful. Thank you for all your endeavours, I am sure things will change for better. Poets work hard and they deserve all the respect. !
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 02, 2018:
Thank you for writing this in support of poetry. I am doing everything in my power to make poetry appeal to a wider audience than is the norm. I have also written a number of articles on how to read and enjoy poetry, and try to always have a clear message in my poetry that doesnt take too much brain power to interpret. The fact that Internet readers are said to have shortening attention spans should in fact make poetry attractive because it is shorter and take some less time to read than most articles and stories. I guess the problem here is if a poem requires time to sit down and interpret the meaning then it can attract from its appeal to a lay audience. Other poets often appreciate analysing and directing a poem but they generally do not make up the greater Internet audience.
A very good and well written article.