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Tapping into the Inner Poet

 Everyone may not be a naturally gifted writer, but there is certainly an inner poet in everyone. T.S. Eliot published an entire poem called "The Waste Land" in 1922 all starting from his feelings about a calendar month. The poem begins "April is the cruelest month...", and from that phrase on he managed to write a literary masterpiece studied at universities across the world.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.

   What made his work outstanding? Well his poems were certainly meaningful, including many references to academics of the past and of his time. Yet the poetry was also very disjointed, and only a scholar could pick out the parts that had meaning beyond sentence fragments. 

   This bit of background into a well-lauded poet should be an inspiration to all. To announce to humanity that poetry comes from the inside, from fragments of the imagination, observed phenomena, and bits of learned tucked away into the subconscious. While inspiration to write a poem may not come to land on one's shoulder like some external muse, it may surprise many that the impetus to express through prose rather can come from within.

  Writing poetry, if one were to follow Eliot's example, is something like the process of making a word salad. Start by gathering the delicious components, and then mixing them together in a pleasing ballad. Just whatever form one chooses, whether abab or haiku, remember to be listen to the inner urging of the poet within.

   The actual content of poetry can neither be marked right or wrong. There is no test to fail here in choosing the wrong material. That is the beauty of coming to know the inner poet inside oneself. And once expressed, it is a written record of fragments of the individual consciousness.

   Others, in observing the poet's boldness, will respect the effort for art and art's sake alone. Many are too intimidated to try themselves. But within all is a sleeping poet, waiting to be resurrected from slumber in order to create an imprint of past impressions. And there will be others, who in wanting to connect with the human spirit, will read the poem hoping to connect something of another's spirit to theirs. If only the person picks up the pen and writes. 


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