The Poetry Process

poetry-process

Bringing a touch of class to Rife magazine, Aiden Harmitt-Williams, a poet talks us through the formula for writing…

Poetry is an expression and extension of myself

There isn’t a formula for writing poetry that will be deemed worthy of publishing or reading. That’s not why I write poems either. Poetry is an expression and extension of myself. It has been called many things over the years like ‘the language of love’ and ‘the music of the soul’, which are both valid interpretations, but like most mediums of art, how poetry is received is subjective. I find that poetry is a means of clarity. It helps me to gather my thoughts and focus them into one complete and [hopefully] coherent piece that may or may not resonate with an audience.

I started writing poetry religiously in 2012, which initially stemmed from me wanting to write lyrics. Writing poetry helped me to get better at my writing and widen my subject matter, as the lyrics I was writing were generic R&B love songs. After this though, writing lyrics was put on the back burner and I focused on poetry, finding it a better writing experience due to the limitless subjects. If a subject matter has connected with me and is something that I am passionate about, I find my writing and the audience response is stronger.

If a subject matter has connected with me and is something that I am passionate about, I find my writing and the audience response is stronger…

Lately, I’ve found writing poetry has become a natural, free occurrence. I don’t make myself write because then the final product won’t feel authentic, it will feel rushed and forced. What I want it to be is a natural and free flowing act, much like walking. When you walk, your feet are free to take you wherever, in any direction, with almost zero restrictions. If I was driving, I would have to abide by the laws of the road and be limited to whatever paths are made for me.

A lot of the time I won’t be in a suitable place to write a poem. If I am able to, I will jot down the main concept or even just a title down on my phone or iPod so I can work on it at a later date, usually in a quiet space or with some mellow music in the background to guide my thoughts. Nowadays inspiration comes from any one of my senses. Each thing that I come across may in some way or another strike a chord that I think may be a good subject or concept to write about, but other times I have those times where I want or need to write something and so I will force myself to dig deep into my head, or simply do some free writing in order to gather some thoughts together to produce anything I can.

Poetry is my favourite medium of writing. It is therapeutic, expressive and also somewhat stressful which is alright, because clarity is the final destination. Some final points when writing:

  • Don’t limit yourself when it comes to choosing a theme/concept
  • Read and be observant of the world in order to have more to write about
  • Be open to changing the style of your writing; it’s important to have a voice but don’t be afraid to change it for the betteR

I leave you with some of my favourite poetry quotes:

‘Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is a painting that is felt rather than seen…’ Leonardo da Vinci

‘For he will command his angels concerning you to guide you in all your ways…’ King David, Psalm 91:11

‘Still I rise’ Maya Angelou

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