30 Days of Poetry Love with Toni G.

Credit image: Poets.org

Happy National Poetry Month! When I first thought of this poetry project of mine, I wanted to gather thirty poets. And have them guest blog their views, thoughts and feelings about poetry. But then a fellow Scribophile member guided me towards doing interviews. It was right there actually, staring me dead in the face. The source to my interview questions were already in my call to action for guest bloggers. And then I thought of it, that it’s the same with poetry. It’s all around us, even staring us in the face. But for whatever reason we’re just unable to see it. So all month long, that’s what I’ll be doing. Together with 30 poets and writers (hopefully), sharing some poetry love:

Merriam Webster defines poetry as ‘the productions of a poet’. And as a ‘writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.’ But in your own words, how would you define poetry?
It is difficult for me to define poetry. To me everything is poetry: A lullaby being sung to a child, an individual professing their love, someone yelling about the injustices of this world, it’s all poetry to me. I believe we all all poets on some level.

The one thing that I can say about poetry is that there is beauty in it. No matter what the topic, love, hate,death, nature, pain, there is beauty. Therein lies the hook, poetry is everything.
My most favorite poem (Ballad poem) is by Oscar Wilde, “Ballad of Reading Gaol.” I wish to one day write such a masterpiece (not about murder of course), but the topic is not one of beauty because murder is not beautiful, but the telling of the tale is beautiful:

The Ballad of Reading Goal by Oscar Wilde

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead.
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

He walked amongst the Trial Men
In a suit of shabby gray:
A cricket cap was on his head,
And his step was light and gay:
But I never saw a man who looked
So wistfully at the day…..

This ballad poem continues on for pages and pages and it is its beauty that ensnares the reader and pushes him on to the end. Yes in poetry language may count, arrangement may count, sound and rhythm also, but in the end like a good country song it needs to tell a story and no topic is off limit. Short or long it needs to tell a story and add beauty to even the worst of things.

Do you believe poetry matter? Why?
Yes, just as any other written work, poetry is filled with ideas, beliefs, questions, history, diverse cultures and so much more.

Who is your favorite poet and why?
I do not have one favorite poet, but I have many poems that I love.

Name one poet you wished more people knew about and why? 
There is a poet named Richard Krawiec who is known, but I wish more people knew about him. He has a poetry booked named, “She Hands Me The Razor” that I wish more people would read. He is able to give hurt, loss and brokenness a voice without screaming. I adore his work.

Explain your poetry writing process.
I am a strange one when it comes to writing poetry, sometimes the words just come to me so quickly that I don’t have time to write them down and I lose my entire poem. This morning three poems came to me before I was able to get out of bed, I lost all three because I wasn’t able to get out of bed in time. That’s how it happens sometimes, it’s like a flash and if I am not fast enough to catch them they are gone. 

Other times (most of the time) I struggle with my work. A few words will enter my mind, usually about a specific topic, and I will try to build on that. I usually write, rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. Many end up in the garbage or as half completed pieces in one of my notebooks. I do tend to need quite in order to write, maybe that’s why the words seem to come to me during those quiet early hours.


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