I've always had the stigma that poetry was all metaphors and analysis, full of flowery words that were a complete waste of time and made no sense.
Yesterday night I was talked into going to this slam poetry reading (I know. How hipster does that make me?) and I found that the poetry wasn't 'poetry' at all. Each reading felt more like a life rant, rife with metaphors and descriptions, but seemingly full sentences that made sense all the same. These poems were eloquent, somewhat relatable and absolutely intriguing. They were like spoken short stories, but extremely personal ones.
I don't think poetry can be said or read or written without being meaningful in some way. The words are so specific and limited, and I guess the entire purpose of writing poetry is to convey some form of inner emotion or thought that's been eating up your brain. I can't imagine being one of the girls who stood up in front of the staring eyes, against the backdrop of the pristine bookshelf behind them, sharing something so personal through a beautiful medium. They were so brave.
The first girl I saw spoke of the young being the old. If I remember correctly, she said We are the young with grey hair. She spoke about how we are so so stressed, and we drink caffeine, and we have all these issues that the previous generations never seemed to have - or at least that's what I think she was saying.
She spoke about how we comply to the walls the other generations have built around us, and how we need to learn to say no. I somewhat get this, but maybe you'll get it more than I do?
I'm not a humanitarian type, and when it comes to the less fortunate they have a tiny place at the back of my mind, but I don't acknowledge them very often. I know. That makes me sound like a terrible person.
This girl recited this poem that sounded like a rap, entitled Welcome to Australia. At first I thought it would be funny, rife with Australian puns and shrimps on barbies; but it was about the refugees in Syria, yet another neglected and rejected group of people I'd prefer not to acknowledge. Her poem was so emphasised and intriguing and heartfelt, and I think that's what poetry is meant to be. She used her writing to send a message of awareness, and maybe I should be more humanitarian than the cold-blooded human I seem to be.
The most relatable poem of the night would have to have been The Price of Doing Well At School. I've been considering the issue of the repetitiveness of school for a long long while now, and it's gotten to the point where I can't believe this is my life. She spoke of a memorised timetable and how tests are just tests and she knows it, but why does it seem like the make it and break it of life?
Some will become doctors and lawyers and businessmen, and some will just fall. According to her poem school is an institution where they test sixteen year old girls on how well they cope with anxiety. Every test was another battle, and it's like these stupid answers and questions are the bane of our existence.
I know I used to feel the same way, where I would measure time and dates by which assessment I had or had already had. But now I feel nothing but absolute worry at the lack of stress and care I feel for these tests and assignments. I would never half-heartedly do an assignment, but I don't feel particularly motivated either. Studying for tests never involves taking those detailed notes anymore. I use material from class and read the textbook. I have so much confidence in myself and that will be my eventual downfall.
One of my friends recited a last minute poem on anxiety. It was one big metaphor that finally made sense at the very end, like some kind of mystery novel where the final chapter reveals everything.
As a human being who undoubtedly feels emotion, the idea of having anxiety trapped inside oneself is obscurely relatable. All those times you're dreading an event, dreading the people you're about to see, anxiously awaiting the encounters you've been imagining in your head; it's like the feeling is trapped and you just. can't. get rid of it. I tell myself 'normal people do these things' 'normal people would be doing this. There's no need to be nervous.' but I just am, and I guess that's the only reason I'm ever constantly unhappy. I'm so busy being anxious about whatever the next event is, whether it be someone one-off or even a weekly activity.
I'm getting better though. I've been talking myself into realising that there's absolutely nothing to be worried about, because nothing is ever that bad and I'll always be able to talk my way through whatever the event is, no matter how awkward or inferior I may feel. If I decide I don't want to feel that way, I won't.
There was this girl who was so immensely brave who shared a huge piece of her identity. She was so eloquent and her metaphors were personal perfection and I feel like she could be one of those inspirational speakers or a writer in Rookie or something.
Here's the first poem I realised I somewhat liked. It's from Stuck in Love and yes, I realise that this is the second post in a row where I've mentioned it, but it's a really good movie. You should watch it.
Anyway, a poem by Rusty:
In the sea of desks
There is talk of bags and games
And long pipes that leak dreams
With the strike of a match.
And there's a loudness to the whispers I hear.
Whispers shouldn't be that loud, should they?
There's a girl over there who everyone knows
And men without ears who will stand at the door
For a price.
And long hallways; there are always angry mobs of dwarves,
I mean, I can't say I know exactly what it means - but it just sounds so so nice.
Maybe I'll attempt writing some poetry some day.