The great English critic and essayist William Hazlitt described poetry as “the language of the imagination”. For the past few days I have posted some poems from my ‘Mirror Monologues’ short poetry collection. The poems have looked at my intimate thoughts I have when I am by myself and reflecting on the person I am and want to be. Posting the poems reminded me of an assignment I had whilst studying for my BA in English Literature. Part of my Romantics module was to look at the role of imagination in poetry. The Romantics believed in communicating the raw thoughts and feelings of man to poetry; an organic poetry reflective of the actual feelings of humankind. Unlike the enlightenment period beforehand, Romanticism was more concerned with authenticity as opposed to simply writing the reasonable thoughts and what society wanted you to think and write. The Romantics did however still place a focus on poetic form and meter.
I fell in love reading the poetry of Wordsworth, Keats and Coleridge because of their beautiful associations between nature and humankind. I remember being encouraged in my own poetic pursuits and the need to express myself authentically. It was encouraging to know that greats before me also had certain preconceptions and poetic ‘to do’s’ that they had to overcome in order to write poetry they felt reflected their state of mind and heart. This post is to encourage you to push boundaries and especially write the things you are scared of. The process of writing the Mirror Monologues has been incredibly healing and woke me up to ideas I had of myself that I was unaware of.
The poet has the amazing ability to put thoughts, feelings and crazy mind ramblings into a format someone else can read, understand and empathise with. I believe all of us have the ability to write poetry because we all have imaginations. Use it!