I want to agree with Amiri Baraka, hug him and kiss him and say YES! That’s EXACTLY WHAT POETRY IS. And then I want to talk to him about how dumb people who think poetry should be anything else are. I want to say I am right, this is the way. My heart does little pauses whenever I think about doing this though. Not out of excitement but out of the vague guilt that says, “You’re wrong Carolina. Poetry is so much more than just you.”
Whatever I think I am is relative to everyone else. I am everyone I have ever met and all the thoughts that have been shared with me. In that way, it can’t really be my poetry, as I am only recycling thoughts and ideas. I feel so defensive of my poetry though, as you all witnessed in class when I told Meghan I didn’t care (I’m sorry!). Why is that? I feel like it’s me there on the page, trying to show you my insides. And then when people don’t understand it I just want to say, well, so what? You don’t HAVE TO understand. I’m misunderstood, that’s the point, duh.
But, it’s not something to which we should say so what, even if we want to (my mistake). It does matter. Poetry is one of the only methods that two people can truly understand each other and if we are thinking only of who we are and not about who everyone else is, then how will we achieve the goals we wish to? How will we master this art. I guess we should find a balance. Sacrifice some of the qualities we feel are exclusive to ourselves so that we can successfully speak to somebody else in their language.