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His were songs so full of a wholesome laughter
Those whose courage was ashen found it once more aflame,
His was a child-like faith and wandering feet were guided,
His was a hope so joyous despair was put to shame.

- The Poet, L.M. Montgomery

So what if a little boy is lost in the recollections of daffodils he read about? So what if a Keats is paying tribute to the departing winters through an Ode? Perhaps Shakespeare is confessing his love to his beloved through his sonnets. Perhaps there's a little Bond somewhere who is currently weaving words into poems. Or maybe an old man is living his memories of yesteryear through memoirs of Tennyson.

Poetry is perhaps like the white in black, the white that has split itself to color the sky of emotions. It's an art, an alchemy that turns lead into gold. Like the tears of heaven when fall in oysters & become pearls and like tears of Mary turned to Lily of the Valley when she cried at the cross, tears of a poet fall on pages to become pearls of words; pearls that when woven shine as poetry. Or rather, tears when fall on ink transform the lone weeper to a majestic poet.

Poetry is perhaps more about expression than a feeling; it’s a step ahead of hope, when that hope heralds a faith and that faith transforms into a prayer & reaches heaven. When an acquaintance ripens into friendship, or when a fleeting moment in time becomes a memory; when a friendship blossoms into love and, and when love becomes devotion. Somewhere between these two banks of the same river of life blooms the flower we call poetry.

A part of me has always wonders whether language is indeed a gift. What if it was more of a curse than a blessing? What if there was a time eons ago when words were never needed to convey feelings? What if souls could communicate in silence? What if a glance in the other person's eyes was enough to let you know that the person was sad? What if a touch had the power to awaken lifetimes within you?

But when Pandora opened the box to see what was inside and all the evils of the world flew out and scattered about the earth; one of the bees bit all the hearts of the world & they lost the magic they came to the earth with; the magic of communication & union in silence. Or perhaps Satan succeeded in his evil design; sending the earth on the edge of an avalanche. Souls couldn't understand each other's feelings; they couldn't communicate. There was doom & misery everywhere.

But then the fairy of hope came out and kissed all the souls. Prayers made their way to heavens; and the Almighty came up with a way out. He spoke to Mother Nature; and together they created language as a last resort to calm the chaos. People could talk now; they could communicate once again through words using their vocal cords & languages took birth.

But there came up another disaster. Words were causing too much trouble; for they weren't an efficient means to express their deepest emotions. Misunderstandings led to miseries; The sole reason- our vocal cords worked under the control of the developing brain, the brain that was trained in critical thinking & to fight for survival; the brain that believed more in logic of inventions than in the magic of miracles. Hearts had fallen silent; and this led to cobwebs of confusion.

That is when God created something called poetry to express all those feelings that were remaining hidden; to give voice to all those things unsaid. That is when poetry became the manifestation of divinity. Isn't that the reason why the oldest texts of the world are written in verses? Isn't that why all our holy saints preferred poetry as a medium to teach & transform since time immemorial?

Perhaps the most amazing thing about a poem is the variety in inspiration from where it springs from. For some, poetry comes from nature, people, places, stories, myriad of emotions and feelings; sometimes its their own story. For some, poems become a clandestine cave where they bury their most precious treasures of thoughts; where they hide their deepest secrets, secrets that have become too heavy to be carried ahead; pains that hurt too deeply as scars. They confide in the world their deep deepest thoughts; narrate their story through a poem; they reach out to people and people don't even realize they just heard a deepest confession; that they just experienced a sea of emotions. Some poets write to leave a trail behind in a cold desert of tyranny; so that someone walking through the same path reads their poem & realizes that they aren't alone.

I once asked a great poet, "What inspires you to write?" He was gazing at the peonies & poppies with rapture in his wide wonderful eyes; eyes whose dark depths beheld all the joy and sorrow and laughter and loyalty and aspiration of generations. He said,

“For me, poetry is a subconscious activity. These phrases come out of nowhere, as if some fairy has whispered them in my sleep. These are songs sung by my silence, the distant echoes of past that keep knocking at my doors or the desires that I have strangulated over time, craving to be heard. I don't really know, I am a different person when I hold the pen."

Perhaps that's what poetry is, a manifestation of something that doesn't always come out, or of the infinity in us revealing itself in moments we hold the pen.

Some poems were written to prevent a war; and some to grant courage & strength in the midst of one. Some were written by peace, and some by chaos. Some were written by love, and some by a broken heart. Whoever the hand be, poetry when pure, has never been less than a prayer.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- In Flanders field, John McCrae

But there's a gloomy side as well. Poets are known to be dreamers. They are thought to speak insane, write nonsense, and are overwhelmed & overruled by emotions. Anything the poor poets say is taken as a product of overactive imagination. Some are sick of hearing every now and then, "That's her. She is being poetic again." They are sick of explaining they are not. They are just being them. Perhaps a writer's life is full of tragedies. The greatest isn't about not being able to write her own story; but not being taken seriously.

Poetry is beautiful, and yet bearing a terrible stigma. Of being a fake, of not being real. Everyone loves them, but very few believe in them. So, are you daring enough to believe in something as absurd & abstract & unreal as poetry?

"He built a castle of dream and a palace of rainbow fancy,
And the starved souls of his fellows lived in them and grew glad;
And yet there were those 
who mocked the gifts of his generous giving,
And some but he smiled and forgave them who deemed him wholly mad!"

- The Poet, L.M. Montgomery 

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