I was always confused by poetry; especially the poetry which doesn’t rhyme because I was always taught that poems must always rhyme, when in fact, this isn’t so.
I have learned recently through a book called “how to grow your own poem” by Kate Clanchy that there is something in the world called “Abstract poetry” which doesn’t necessarily require you to rhyme your words, in fact by doing so it can come across as boring, predictive and limited.
Much like trying to understand abstract art, I am now in the process of trying to learn to understand abstract poetry and I have to say, I am finding this more difficult than the art. I know that art is subjective, but words mean a lot to people, how can you be abstract with your written words and people to understand what the heck you are saying to them?
With art you should paint what you feel and you don’t need to explain yourself if you don’t want to, because the person who buys your art would find it visually appealing for them – but with words, that’s different surely a few things that mean a lot to me pulled together would utterly confuse another person reading them?
Let me try for example to do this now, in a state of total ignorance to abstract poetry;
My Heart (is the title)
Butterflies weep within the cage that is placed within my chest
Their wings breathe me life, sorrow and love
Nobody can see my caged butterflies, but I know they are there
Flittering around the cage, crying at beauty and pain alike
Those butterflies want to be free, but they are trapped
They know that if they found freedom I would die
My life is everything to them
Now for me this is beautiful, it totally explains how I feel within my heart and what my heart means to me, but did anyone else feel it too? Maybe I have been too sheltered to understand that these things other people can feel and understand, but I would like to think that the above poem wasn’t too difficult to grasp. If the above indeed was what true abstract poetry is all about, then I think I would love doing more poems like that about other things.
But is it what’s expected by people who understand and have experienced abstract poetry?
If you know anything about abstract poetry, please let me know if I have understood it, or whether or not my poem wasn’t vague enough… if that’s possible?
Thanks for reading!