I believe that anyone can be a poet; not just people who know their language well or are in touch with their emotions; anyone. All it takes is a pen and some paper. I’ve heard people complain that they don’t write on paper because their printing/hand writing is atrocious. That’s fine too; all of your best work will still be done with pen and paper. Typing up a poem is one thing, but in order to really get your creative juices flowing, you need to pick up a pen or pencil and write. Messy writing? So what? You’re the only one who has to read it. You should see some of the scribbles I’ve got in my notebook from writing poems.
As a poet I have learned many interesting and fascinating things about the English language. Spelling and grammar only a couple of them. Learning to write poetry does some interesting things to your brain. It makes you learn proper grammar, then makes you smash “proper grammar” to bits and pieces when you start writing. It teaches you the importance of using a dictionary then tells you to make up words.
English is easily the most complicated language on the planet due to tenses and spelling and most importantly grammar. It’s a fact of life that not everyone in the world has perfect grammar; in fact no one does. However, words like inflection, syntax and declension mean nothing to the majority of the current generation. So few people know what gender means in relation to grammar and even fewer know how unimportant it is in the english language. However, when it comes to poetry you can take all those fancy words and chuck em’.
So few people these days are concerned with spelling and grammar because they have their precious spell-check and Google. I think it’s time programs stopped including spell-check and let people learn to spell. It would make people appreciate books, articles, poems, and essays more. Words mean more to most people when there are thoughts behind them, and spell-check takes that away.
Even fewer people let their creative juices flow on a regular basis and end up sitting at home playing video games and surfing the net, that their “creative-juice reservoirs” just dry up. I have a movie for those people: Dead Poet’s Society. As cliche as it sounds, it is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen and whenever I road block on the writing road, I remember the moral lesson taught in that movie. The lesson that tells you to be creative, don’t limit yourself, and don’t let anyone stand in your way.
Great actor and martial artist of the screen, Bruce Lee, once said: “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
I’ll just let you think about that.
By Alex Hicks