I wrote a poem–a thing which I don’t do often–and I didn’t write it because I wanted to sound profound, or I wanted to be a great writer. I wrote it because I wanted to think something through. I suppose that a lot of poetry happens like that, and because of that, a lot of it is about love and death and troubles. This would be no exception. I call it “None At All.”
*side note: my stanzas are separated by — because the paragraphs weren’t showing up when I pasted it.
Do you take the road least traveled?
The hipster would say yes.
Do you take the road more traveled?
Tradition would say yes.
Does a river yearn to climb a mountain?
We don’t really know,
And though they work with gravity,
I’d like to say, yes.
You see, I know the science,
The probability of it all.
But does that mean that I
Stick to the proven course?
I could follow the path
That lain out before me
But does it offer peace?
No. I know the answer now.
I must follow my instinct
My gut tells me,
That place that offers peace
Is on the path least completed.
Not just traveled.
Not just considered.
And like a camel through the eye of a needle
They get stuck
They endure Hades, not Heaven.
But I believe that I will make it,
She says as doubt enters her mind,
But I will try not to worry,
For what good can that do?
None at all.
Now, that was a rough draft; my thoughts are shown frankly on the page. You can see how my thoughts progressed as I wrote it. For reference, the poem is about pursuing a writing career. Do I become the cliched “struggling artist,” or do I pursue a knowingly profitable course?
Writing is proven to be therapeutic, and poetry is where some of the finest thought-processing can happen. I use it, and I’m sure many other people do, to sort of talk through things.
The thing is, many people don’t do this, and it works way better than I used to think. There is a reason people keep journals, and it’s not (always) so that people two-hundred years from now can sit back and read what we were doing. While that may be fascinating to historians in the future, it originated as a form of therapy.
In essence, more people should consider writing. You don’t have to share it; you just have to do it, and you’d be surprised how great it can make you feel when there is no pressure for it to sound a certain way, or to make a grade, or satisfy anybody but yourself. That is how I started writing, and soon, I was fine writing for others. It’s a process, just like anything, and I am thankful for the person it made me.
And because I felt like it…