I think that we’re beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, “Ahhh.” That was the first poem. – Lucille Clifton
I live for those experiences. The ones where you’re in a moment so extraordinary they border on undescribable. What do you do? You smile, you throw your head back, maybe stretch your arms out in the wind. Maybe it’s driving down a highway with the windows down, doing cartwheels in the rain, waking to the sun rising, snowflakes in your hair, realizing you love someone, laughing until there are tears in your eyes. That is poetry. I live for poetry.
Before I read this quote, I never clearly considered the concept of the first poem. The first poem ever created.
It could well be defined as when the first man on earth spoke his first words. When beautiful things were first realized, when sadness and joy and heartbreak and things that we can’t describe and can only feel were first felt.
Robert Frost said that poetry is what gets lost in translation. And I am what gets lost in poetry. What the words can do, when done well, is something that nothing else can produce: a bridge between that gap that we feel when experiencing our own personal world and trying to express it.
For a fleeting, brilliant moment we’re caught in someone else’s world, realizing that we feel the same things that they do in this vast thing we call the human experience.
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” Even if we don’t understand it, we feel it – which in a way, means that we actually do.
And there is my highly abbreviated stance on poetry. I didn’t have time to write anything shorter.
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