Friday, November 25, 2005

I Am Not A Poet

"When it's dark enough, you can see the stars."
Charles Beard

I am not a poet. My poetry writing burst forth prior to, during, and after my reunification with my birth family. I had last written poems in the first grade. A year after my reunion experience I put the poet's pen down and have not lifted it since. That was 13 years ago. (Carl Jung theorized about poetry and psychology. I wish I knew more of what he thought on this subject, perhaps one day I will spend some time on this very task.) What is fascinating to me is that after my reunion with my birth family all I wanted to do, was impassioned and obsessively motivated to do, was write poetry. I produced I'd say between 40 and 50 poems. It was as if the normal language that addressed my life no longer sufficed or served my experience justly. There was a language and a rhythm to the lyrically beated patterned expression found in the writing of poetry that gave my long and silenced history an artistic and almost formless or unruled expression. I treasure these poems. They are short lines that my soul spewed and danced out into existence after a very long exile. They are encapsulated and controlled versions of desperate inner turmoil and dark pain. When I wrote them I reread each of them over and over until my mind wore a familiar path between the words. It was as if the ghost kingdom of Betty Jean Lifton slipped through the ether and into my solid world through these imaging words and phrases. I am not a poet...but it took a poem to express my deep inner world that housed a secreted abandoned self as regularly organized every day language found no way of connecting to my experience, emotions, or split soul part.


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