A well known, late poet once said in an article, “If English is your second language, don’t write poems. Instead, write fiction.” I understood what he meant. But I didn’t agree with him because I had read well-written poems by poets to whom English is the second language. However, I took his word and wrote novels. Writing poems is not my forte, anyway. Still, I could not avoid the fun of writing poems. And with a good reason.
Some people say that they don’t know how to write a poem. To me, there’s no such thing as how to write a poem, unless it is formatted one. Writing formatted poems is not my favorite, mostly because I don’t want to deal with cadence, stanza, meter, feet and foot, etc. To some degree, I do though. A poem is the expression of your feeling and thought. I write down my feeling and call it a poem.
They say poems are worthless. You cannot make a living by writing poems. True. But a poem is an elevated form of your expression. Writing poems not only calms you, but also enhances your soul. No doubt, great poems move your mind with profound beauty. Needless to mention, writing poems or reading has its own reward.
Considering that, I think beginning from Middle Grade, if not earlier, teachers should encourage the students to write at least ONE POEM A DAY. So they can have a moment of reflecting their problems and figure out how to solve them. Everyone knows bottled up emotions often lead to a mental illness. That’s why we see so many killing incidents at schools and else where. Gun control policy alone doesn’t prevent the crimes. How about we use a psychological strategy, like the one upper mentioned and more? Stop the crimes by treating the core problems–the MINDS, especially the poetry-deprived minds. (Poetry-deprived minds are not necessarily people who doesn’t read or write poetry. They are apathetic people with no respect for other people’s right and law.)
(By Byung A. Fallgren. Byungafallgren.wordpress.com.)