Poetry is underrated. Yes, I said it. Poetry – one of the most beautiful ways that a human being can express themselves, where you don’t have to stick to the rules and regulations of standard prose; where you just say what is in your heart and it can have the most profound effect on the reader – it’s just not valued anymore.
When I was at secondary school, we did quite a bit of poetry – John Keats, Philip Larkin, Dylan Thomas, my English teacher told us about Sylvia Plath – I was never brave enough to read her poetry… Whilst we were doing our GCSE’s, we analysed poetry from a few poets, sadly I don’t remember the poems or the poets – but some of the things that I read, stayed with me. When it is an autumn day, the wind is blowing in the trees and the leaves scatter merrily all around, I’m reminded of a poem when the poet is a little girl, who is walking through the park with her mother. Her mother seems so tall and powerful, wrapped in her warm woollen coat, her dark hair flying loose and defiantly in the wind, the little girl looks up to her mother, clinging tightly onto her hand, knowing that she is safe with her, that her mother will protect her from all the elements and from all her difficulties in life. I think at the end of the poem we realise that her mother had died…but that perfect moment of feeling completely safe and secure in life stayed with the poet forever.
I’ve written about this before, but one of my favourite poems is by Dylan Thomas – Do not go gentle into that good night. Sadly, this poem in recent times has been adopted by people who have opposing political views to me. However, that is irrelevant. I read this poem when I was 17 years old, a time of confusion – stepping into adulthood, wanting more responsibility, yet not feeling ready. Tired of being treated as a child, but not understanding what being an adult really means. My father had died a few years before and I wish that he had been able to ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’…a plea from all children to their parents – stay with me forever, don’t let death take you away…
Poetry. The damn thing touches your soul and parts stay with you, you’re reminded of certain phrases in the strangest of moments, not even knowing that you had been touched so profoundly.
There are times in your life when you feel invincible. Treasure those times. That feeling that the world is yours and that you have the power to part water if you were required to. Treasure those moments because as you grow older, those times feel fewer and farther between. A few years ago, I went through a bit of a rough patch. Nothing extraordinary. Nothing incredible. However, life felt tough. I will always thank God for the family that I have around me. They were there – like a shield, a huge support; like a warm, comforting blanket – there for me, in whatever capacity when I needed them. Words of wisdom. Words of encouragement. Words of inspiration. A telling off, if they felt I needed it; at times just a voice at the end of the phone, or a sweet cup of tea…whatever they felt I needed, they were there.
But the person that I had to thank the most, was my husband. My patient, kind, loving husband, who only wanted to see a smile back on my face, and for me to feel as strong as he knew I was. One day, I came up with a solution that I felt would make our lives better and talked through it with him. I was tired of not feeling strong anymore. Of feeling helpless – like a victim. I was frustrated that I didn’t feel like my invincible self. When would I ever feel like that again? I was desperate to take back control of my life instead of feeling so broken, unappreciated and undervalued.
It took him less than five minutes to agree that what I felt would be the best course of action to take – and a surge of relief shot through us both. Something palpable. A change happened and we both felt it. He doesn’t like to read as he simply doesn’t enjoy it – but later that day, he sent me a photograph of a poem that completely took me by surprise and made me weep.
This poem. The gentleness, the encouragement, the fact that being hurt, facing difficulties does not mean that you are weak and worthless – the fact that you got through it, means that you have become so much more. Yes, he would not have been able to express himself in the way that Nikita Gill, the poet does but his message to me was exactly that. That he was proud of me and that I would overcome these difficulties – life was teaching me how to be stronger.
I will be forever grateful to anyone who was there for me when I felt my worst. Those people have an incredibly special place in my heart – when I felt bruised, and battered and worthless – those people who refused to let me accept defeat, who refused to let me believe that I was any of those things – I will be eternally grateful to.
I don’t feel gratitude – but I will always remember the lessons taught to me by those who chipped away at my self-esteem and self worth – as they taught me something incredibly powerful….how people should never be treated. Lessons learned. And I know, just as I had to learn some lessons from life – they one day will too…
I don’t want to end in a negative way though – life is always full of ups and downs. It is incredibly important to appreciate the good times, when we have them and know that the tough times are temporary too. Embrace those who love you and make you feel loved. Embrace those who are there for you to bolster you when you are down. Embrace those who tell you that you are amazing – even when you don’t feel it and feel completely unlovable. These people are simply angels in a human guise.
But my post today, is dedicated to the poets. The people who can articulate feelings through words that resonate with so many souls. And to my husband…who loved me when I just didn’t or couldn’t love myself.