The other day I attended a meeting for our school poetry club. I had wanted to see the performances and a friend of mine had said that they were beginning at 9 am. I arrived at 10 because I had spent the night before not in my room.;) Turns out my friend had it wrong, idiot!!!, and this was actually a meeting between the school club and the guest artists that had been invited. Since I was already there I decided to stay.
Since I’m so very poor with names I won’t be using any here in case I get them wrong.
Anyway at some point we got into groups to discuss various matters like what poetry was to each of us, mediums used in poetry and poetry in the bible. It was an awesome discussion that included other aspect such as what poetry/art we all practiced and what we loved most about our chosen art form.
For me the most interesting part of the discussion was what was poetry and a question that arose from that discussion, asked by me, is at which point does poetry stop. At which point do we say stop, what you’re doing isn’t poetry so stop calling it that!!
Check out the cool logo from Wamathai.com

A little background first. I can’t stand written poetry. I never like it in high school and I don’t like it written on the web. This is no offense to the writers I’m sure some of them, on the web, are quite skilled(I think we can agree if you actually get published you are skilled). I prefer when poetry is spoken out, read or performed, that’s when I get it. Anyway a while back there was a sudden upsurge in poetry blogs, I blame Wamathai, and it would annoy me because most of the works there were, err, in my opinion, either not poetry or just whack!!

This left me wondering at which point do we say this isn’t poetry. So we set out to answer that question.
First we each defined poetry. I’ll put here an amalgamation of what we all said Poetry is words in a beautiful way. It is freedom of expression and personal. It is a way to express self about the world, in an indirect way. It’s rhyme, word play. It’s standard, stanza, rhymes and arrangement of word, a way of expressing uniqueness. It’s the art for expressing feeling, any manner. It’s expressive uniqueness.
 
This is Wamathai, the poet 

As you can see those are rather broad. So of course this caused me to ask where do we stop. I’m a blogger, a writer of sorts you could say and I express myself, my uniqueness here  does that make me a poet?

Well we talked about it and a lot was said that I wish could be put up here but that would take several posts and my memory just isn’t that good…but I took notes JBack in the day there were standard rules decide by academics and elite of that time. Anyone who branched out of those rules could be easily dismissed and I guess everyone at the time could easily call someone a poet. However these days there’s more people defining the genre hence we need to be more accommodative than dismissive. Poetry is personal in that it’s about how you feel. Poetic, poetry. I guess you could say that poetry depends on how you see yourself, if you call yourself a poet you are.
I guess poetry is personal. What you call poetry is not what I poetry so don’t judge. However there is something that was said that really made sense  ”Before you break the rules and branch out, be able to show you can follow the rules.” I think we all need to remember that, no matter what we’re trying to do!

One last thing “Poetry is in the audience” Think about that. Peace

Written by Sidney Ochieng

Child at heart and mind. Feminist. Story teller. Fledgling data scientist. Your future boss

1 Comment

Teardrops on my guitar

There are many kinds of poems,and people have different tastes. Some have rules some are just free of restriction. But basically poetry is majorly about self expression, sharing with the world emotions that cannot at times be contained.

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