Poetry and Me

I never thought I have this fascination with poetry.  I just noticed that poetry has shaped my very being.  I would remember recollecting my thoughts through “poems.” I would write about my feelings, most of them lyric poetry, about my reflections on love, my weakest link and my strength at the same time. There were also some about my observation of things. I even have a collection of those I had written in the past. Every now and then I would read the poems and reminisce the past. I smile as if the experience just happened yesterday. There is nostalgia in every reading. Memories do come back, but there reality knocks that the past remains there and the present is what I have to face.

I   also love reading poems. Though I must admit I do not really understand some of them at first reading. I enjoy the feeling of divinity in every word that I utter. I also feel glad whenever I would learn new words, understand the line, and see the interconnectedness of things, the best words in the best order. I feel good to have unlocked the meaning of the poem, of what it means to be human.

Reading poems is different from reading novels, short stories, or nonfiction. In the first place, it comes in a different form. In poetry, there are many things to consider, its elements, form, sound, and sense. Probably this is also the reason why I opted to work on travel poetics of Ophelia A. Dimalanta. For some weird reasons, I tried to divert my attention with other things. There were times I found reading her poems so difficult. I could not really understand them. Or maybe because I started with the premise that her poems are difficult. Period. Without even trying to dig deeper into her poetics. I guess time also helped me re-discover her and appreciate her poetry. I even thought of working on a travel writer’s essays, but I found them too easy to understand. Everything is there, like what one professor told me. Yeah, I realized that there is nothing difficult in there, and if I would write a thesis about her, what is there still to find out? One friend also suggested that I study another writer. He could help me interview her and provide me with some of her works. I once read her lecture on writing and literature. But I barely know her. I have not even read her works. Starting over again might be difficult for me. When I tried to go back to school, it was nerve wracking. I didn’t know how to pick myself. What should I do next? Until one morning I scheduled a consultation with my professor and enlightened me of my poetry journey. He reiterated that my thesis adviser is expert on travel poetry, and in the first place she is also a poet. I confess I wanted to change my adviser then because we were separated for a long time. She became a university fellow abroad for a couple of years. I also stopped working on my thesis since then, and decided to go back to school after some years. My friends were telling me I can do it, but there is no once who can tell me that by myself. My motivation should be intrinsic. What happens next is history. I do not know that I am capable of doing those things. But with proper guidance and meaningful feedback, I am back on my feet.

I know the journey is still long, but everyday I am loving poetry as I learn from the masters through reading poems and books about poetry. Don’t worry. There is still something in between that I do. I know I still have lots of time to spend with poetry, but I am sure this time I know where I am going.


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