Poetry is outpouring of the heart…
Previously, I’ve been mistaken for a poet. I presume it’s slightly hyprocitical of someone who refuses to call himself a poet to publish a book of poetry, but that is the situation I found myself in, with the launch of my latest book “Sad Man Dancing”.
For years, I’ve been correcting people that I am not a poet. And in the introductory poem in the book, I state that being called a poet is a “label my shoulders cannot carry, and a burden I shall not accept”. Confusing words perhaps, but the reality of it is that I never saw myself as a poet, not that there is anything wrong with that! It’s just that I’ve always avoided putting myself into a specific context, box or sphere that defines every aspect of what I do.
It seems that people have this preconceived notion of what poetry is and should be and when I take a look at it, I sense that it’s been plagued by a set of rules and traditions. By the same token, I refuse to be associated with one particular “historical” figure. I believe once you do everthing you do will be judged by their ideologies and standards. And it leaves you locked on one path of thinking and behaving.
To me, poetry is the rawest form of self-expression, it never studied, elaborate or conscious. I’m not saying that anything you write or jotdown could be poetry, but those words that truly come from a deep need to express, a desperate emotional shout or a moment of pure unadultered joy. The only time I hold pen to paper is when I write down these intimate, personal poems, often unapologetic in their aggressive honesty. I take the pen and it becomes an extension of my emotions, feelings and memories that pour out of my mind, heart and soul.
In a way, it’s cathartic. I am almost certain that all of you out there have written, at one stage in your lives or another, and in one form or another, some sort of poetry. Some within the literary scene might act as if poetry is an exclusive, highbrow art form only appreciated by academics and intellectuals, but the root of it has always been the raw human condition that we all share.
My new book of poetry is by no means traditional or serious,it’s quite the opposite. However, it is genuine. I just hope that it will show people it’s all right to write poetry and pour your heart out in verse. We may not all be poets, but we all write poetry. And that’s OK.