The Power of Poetry

Whether you’re writing sonnets, haikus, ballads, villanelles, epigrams or an elegy, your poem can be written with your voice visible in it. You can write for however long you want and in your own style. However, you do need to figure out your own voice, and perhaps the best way to do that is through trial and error.

Knowing How to Resonate

One of the key signs of a great writer is to know how to resonate with the reader. Certainly there are plenty of ways one can express their feelings on paper, but having your writing be instantly relatable on a deeper emotional level most definitely gives you extra credit in a sense. Obviously, your relatability depends on a few factors i.e. having similar experiences with another person, but there are ways great writers make themselves relatable to the general public. 

Considering poetry can be written by anyone and about anything, there are too many variables that play a role in how much a certain poem can connect to a specific person. Nevertheless, the good news is that there have been (and currently are) so many poets who have written about pretty much anything you can think of. From the moon, the clouds, planets, dogs, parents, houses, towns, countries, friendships, love and everything in between, whatever it is you’re in the mood for there is a poem about it somewhere.

 

Noteworthy Poets with Great Power

There are A LOT of poets who have had huge impacts over the last few centuries. Their influence has always been present and is everywhere even nowadays. Here are only some of the biggest:

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is considered to be the greatest writer in the English language ever. Though obviously most known for his plays that are also translated into every major language, his poems, including Venus and Adonis and A Lover’s Complaint, were narratively driven and had quite the impact. His influence is quite possibly the biggest on any level ever. Millions upon millions have been inspired by his all-time best plays, and poems / sonnets. 

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10th, 1830 in Amhrest, Massachusetts and died on May 15th, 1886. During her lifetime, she wrote approximately 1.800 poems, though very few were published during her lifetime, and is now considered as one of the most influential poets of all time. Her writing was unique in style and personal in meaning. She wrote about death a lot, but also about society at large and hundreds of personal letters to her lover Susan Gilbert. Her work has inspired millions of people and most notable feminist movements and artists. She’s also inspired book writers, music composer, film makers, and many pieces of media are based on her life and writings. 

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was both a transcendentalist and realist poet.  His influence is far and wide, as he’s often regarded as the “father of free verse”. Much scrutinized at the time for his presumed sexual orientation, Whitman’s mark in American history is undeniable. Whitman was a poet of democracy and a literary hero. His influence reaches further than just the United States though, as many Latin and European poets have been inspired by him. Poets such as Oscar Wilde, Pablo Neruda, Bram Stoker and more have cited Whitman as an influence.

John Keats (1795-1821) was a Romantic poet who lived a very short yet impactful life. His writings have been described as sensual and underlined with extreme emotion, typical for Romantic writers in general. His poems have been a source of inspiration for many pieces of media, including the movie ‘In the Cut (2003)’ and the series of fiction novels by Dan Simmons ‘Hyperion Cantos’. 

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was not only an incredible poet and biographer, but also a civil rights activist. She tackled social issues with her writings and broke many autobiographical norms. She was very important to African-American oral traditions and her influence is very much continuously felt even today in autobiographical writings. 

 

For the Love of Poetry

Whether you’re writing sonnets, haikus, ballads, villanelles, epigrams or an elegy, your poem can be written with your voice visible in it. You can write for however long you want and in your own style. However, you do need to figure out your own voice, and perhaps the best way to do that is through trial and error. Write as much as you want about anything until something connects and starts to sound like you. What most great poets have in common is that they write from a personal point-of-view of sorts. They write about their experiences (traumas in particular) and about what they love, enjoy doing, people they love being around, things they do daily, about a bird they may have seen one day and it meant something. These are all viable subjects to write poetry about, so if you love poetry just start writing down whatever it is you’re feeling in any poetic style until something sounds like you. 

 

Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 1332951008


Have you read anything by Sylvia Plath?

Sylvia Plath: A Tormented Poet


 

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