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  • Writer's pictureRonda Wicks Eller

We Absorb, Reflect and Process in Poetic Renaissance

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

Published in 'Dance With Your Words – Why Poetry Matters', Palabras Press, March Issue, 2008

(recently rediscovered in my computer files)

Your tongue seems stuck in your throat and you wish you could verbalize empathy towards a woman you see weeping at a nearby street corner. You don’t know her or why she's crying, only that your strongest urge is to go and console her but just as you find your choice words to open a conversation and start heading toward her a taxi pulls up and she gets in. The moment is lost but her image remains with you, so later in the evening you do the only thing left to do: you write about it.

C.S. Lewis said either “We write to know that we are not alone” or “We read to know that we are not alone”. It is quoted differently in various sources. Nevertheless, the message is the same. Humans are social creatures collecting individual experiences that, by our nature, we strive to express with others although our motivations aren't always the same. Sometimes we want to document a current event, other times we need to share emotions like happiness, sorrow, confusion, and yet another time we need to express a personal revelation, a theology or social observation - the list of reasons to write is endless and we make use of every one!

Ever notice how many poetry books are held in libraries? Compare it to journal collections for example. While writing this article I did. The Dewey Decimal System assigns 070-079 for journalism and not all of these are compilations of actual journalistic writing. Alternately, it assigns 811, 821, 831, 841, 851, 861, 871-874, 881, 883 and 884 to poetry (subdivided into language origins etc). Most libraries have a much larger selection of poetry. Now I’m not saying that journalism is unimportant by any means; it has evolved into its own, independent sort of “animal” but is, inherently, an offshoot of early bardic tradition. History annotates the importance of poetry by its own existence! At one time poets and musicians were the only journalists - composing oral accounts of historic events that were memorable enough to be told from one generation to the next. We continue in this role in today’s more literate society too, but with a different flavour.

As we dance with words and co-mingle thoughts, feelings and individual perspectives, poetry is enjoying a new worldwide renaissance thanks to Internet technology. Poets, being the opportunists we are, have jumped onto the bandwagon with ease. We collaborate with each other and extend our reach to the greatest audience possible, and people are listening. We are merging different cultural voices and becoming a unified force that documents all earthly events on physical, social and metaphysical levels. Poets are busily inventing new styles in this collective effort; performance & sound poetry is receiving new appreciation. Our “Dance” is embracing the fastest rhythm it has ever experienced and we are pumped up with inspiration in the wake of its revival! Our poetic evolution is exhilarating and draws each of us to take a role.

Personally, I'm inclined to write most often about thoughts or insights on a philosophical or theological level. I've come to see myself as being part of two renaissance events: poetry and spiritualism. While some are compelled to share experiences of social change, political upheaval, environmental change et al, the spiritual aspects drive me forward - they reach into all areas and are universal!

I have often heard it said that poets are hermits. I believe that is a grave misconception. I might even venture to say we're some of the most social creatures on the planet because we absorb, reflect and process so much of what happens around us! That folks often say we are “mad” comes as no surprise then - it can be a mad, mad world. So I will wear my colours proudly. If eccentricity is part of the deal then I have license to be whatever I wish and how great is that, right? I can dance my words into a hymn, lullabye, lamenting dirge or tango without flinching… and I do!

We all can!

We “Dance With Words” together (the Palabras-Press motto) and make “Poetry in Flight” (the SkyWing Press motto)!

~ Ronda Wicks Eller

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