The Power And Passion Of Poetry!

Jennifer Brown Banks

"How do I love thee?" Let me count the ways...

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Words woo.

Ever since the days of Barrett-Browning's “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” women and men have used poetry as a part of their romantic arsenal.

And I'm no different.

In fact, few people know that although I have had great overall success as a columnist and content creator, my first love is poetry. In fact, I've authored several editions.

Writing has been in my blood since the age of about 13; initially I wrote to meet the requirements of a “gifted student” program I was placed in, and later to deal with teen issues and vent.

Over the years, I found that I loved the freedom of expression that the genre of poetry affords, and the “rawness” as well.

POETRY HAS STAYING POWER…

Though poetry is gaining in popularity in recent years, it’s been with us for centuries. Did you know that poetry traces back to biblical times?

That’s right. The Books of Psalms and Proverbs are a few examples here.

AN ART FORM LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

According to an article published at VOA.COM, John Barr, head of the Poetry Foundation says “Much of the poetry written during the past 25 years was difficult to understand, and the public lost interest.

"Fine poems were being written but they were not the kind you would read in a newspaper," he said. "We're trying to get good poetry back in front of the general public."

The resurgence of recited poetry was influenced by two modern trends, beginning with poetry slams that started in the late 1980s. They are usually held in music clubs, where people can recite their own poems. The other influence is rap in hip-hop music.”

POETRY FEATURED AT PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATIONS AND RITZY CEREMONIES

Poetry resonates with many. So much so, that it has been recited at prestigious gatherings, from the likes of Maya Angelou to spoken word artist and Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, whom shared her eloquent piece “The Hill We climb” at today’s inauguration with President Joe Biden.

And as a fellow poet, might I add, I was filled with pride! Poetry inspires and emboldens.

POETRY HAS COURTING ADVANTAGES

As a point of reference, I've even been courted by a few poets and/or writers. And let me tell ya', it definitely gives guys an edge if they are versed in this particular area!

A case in point would be the “major crush” I have had on poet PETER MCWILLIAMS for more than a decade, though we've never met.

Here's something else you should know...

So significant in its social and artistic impact, that April is actually designated National Poetry Month.

As a sampling

Here's a poem I wrote many moons ago about a former relationship.

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I ONCE LOVED A POET

I once loved

A poet---

Loved how he caught me up

In his rhythm and flow

On wine-laced nights

Seductive

Mellow

And slow

Loved his sense of delivery and timing

The beat of two hearts

Wildly pacing

and rhyming

My lines

Can still remember

His great attention to detail

The beautiful way

His touch would often tell

What his pride wouldn't

I once

Loved a poet

And here's another piece from poet Henry L. Jones

This Distance

Can you touch me

from over there?

Let my arms reach

& hold you

as long as this thought

can keep our hope alive

when I need to feel your presence

even at this distance

you're near

and your love

POETRY MANIFESTS IN MANY FORMS...

Poetry has also provided the basic foundation for the lyrics you often enjoy in some of your favorite songs. As a matter of fact, it's very common for singers/performing artists to also express themselves through poetry recreationally.

Famous vocalists like Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Jewel, (and even romance writer Danielle Steel) have even published poetry books reflecting their work in verse, as an example. And although you may not think you have a creative bone in your body, you can create your own original pieces to endear yourself to the opposite sex. Really .;-)

Here are a few tips to enhance your efforts.

  • Find something you feel is unique about the person you'd like to pen a poem for. It could be a physical trait or an idiosyncrasy. Like an usual laugh, beautiful eyes, a warm spirit, a nice figure or physique, or a flair for fashion.
  • Choose the emotion you would like to evoke. Is your piece to make him/her laugh, cry, reflect, remember?
  • Keep it simple. Don't try to be overly ambitious all at once. “Rome wasn't built in a day.”
  • Try starting with a famous first line: “Roses are red, violets are blue,” or “How do I love thee?” Of course, you should never plagiarize, but you can do a “remake” of something that has a line or two that's easy to jump start from.

Final Thoughts

Of course, if all else fails in your efforts to create romance, you can always dedicate a poem from one of your favorite poets or share one from the numerous online websites. You’ll score fewer “brownie points” with your love interest… but it still counts.

Image credits: Pixabay.com

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Veteran freelance writer, award-winning blogger, thought leader, herbal tea enthusiast. My mission is to entertain, engage and inform readers with articles that are interesting, enriching and diverse.

Chicago, IL
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