Today’s special guest is B.S. Meyers.
Benjamin Meyers, known by many as B.S. Meyers, began writing when he was fourteen years old. Today is his seventeenth birthday and in the past three years he has written thousands of words and worked on multiple writing projects. After a difficult decision to shelve a novel he felt wasn’t working, Ben is confidently working on a new project. He maintains a blog about writing called “The Universe Inside My Head” and regularly connects with other writers on Twitter.
The Soul of A Poem
There are many different formats for poems, from Haikus to Limericks to free-verse. Some have rhyming patterns, some use repetition, others use imagery. But what is the single aspect that every poem ever written shares? I believe it is soul.
When someone writes a poem they usually write about a certain theme (love, death, war, etc.) and they use different literary techniques (alliteration, repetition, imagery, etc.), but what you may not realize when you write a poem is that you’re putting your soul on paper. The word choice, themes, symbols, moods and tones of poems are reflections of the author.
Maybe you write about love because you’ve just met the most amazing person in the world. The mood and tone will be happy and emotional and the word choice will create those feelings. Maybe you write about loss because you just broke up with the love of your life. The mood and tone will be dark and melancholy. In both cases imagery is used to turn emotions into words that, when read, are projected into the reader’s mind, making them feel your happiness or your pain. I believe every poem is a small piece of a person’s soul.
One person could use a garden to symbolize their life, another could use a car crash. Each symbol is unique to the author. We have all lived different lives, had experiences unique to us and felt emotions that we believed were unique to us. We’ve all loved and lost and we’ve all experienced what it is to be human. Every aspect of a poem is a window into the author’s mind and a picture of humanity. Our thoughts, the events in our lives, our emotions, our motives, our goals, our dreams… every one of those things can be found in a poem and every one of those things is part of what makes us human.
So the next time you read a poem don’t think about it two-dimensionally: The poem is about loss and it’s using a cold winter day as a symbol. Think of it three-dimensionally: The poem is about the loss of someone the author loved and the cold winter day is a symbol of how the author felt.
Here’s one of my poems. Why don’t you start thinking in three dimensions?
With the water's edge, mother nature is receding. The world, once covered in life, struck by man. Spiraling in to darkness, the trees are bleeding, and mourning their brothers, who couldn't have ran. Trees fall in the forest, leaving no sound, with no one to hear them, almost like they're dreaming. Their roots whither and the fires burn all around. They have no voices, but they will continue screaming! And at the end of all the world's time, the eldest tree will stand tall and gaze upon the barren land, leaves falling, blending with nature's rhyme. The eldest tree will plant a seed, and the world will go on. (c) 2011 by B.S. Meyers
“Life is but a blank slate. You are born and then you die. But the lucky ones, they live on forever, as legend.” ~ B.S. Meyers
We welcome your comments on Ben’s post or writing poetry in general.