One of the things that irritate me, is people exhibiting a sense of entitlement to my writing … especially when people take a poem that I have written and propagandise it … okay, maybe propagandise is too strong a word … I have, however, had many instances where people have maimed a poem because they felt it didn’t convey what they wanted it to convey. I guess it is different if you are approached to write a poem with a specific theme in mind but even then, people don’t seem to understand that when you write anything, you pick specific words to convey specific messages. That applies to a greater extent when it comes to poetry because a poem has a rhythm to it and this rhythm helps convey the desired message.
I know it might sometimes be hard to understand, but writing a poem is not a 2-minute job … sometimes can be, but very rarely if ever, and … well, I guess for me … the poems I write are an extension of myself; a way of me getting more acquinted with myself, a way of releasing whatever is brewing on the inside, a way of making sense of God — a way of coming to Him — a worship of the master Poet.
This might be something that is hard to understand, but the poems come from me walking out the poem. I sit there imagining each step as if I am either the centre or witness of the story I am trying to convey. I feel the emotions and convey them as I write, make sense of a situation as I describe it … and it is for this reason that I say, I primarily write for myself and not for others; It is a cleansing, an act of surrender but also a gift if I choose to share it. So next time you see a poem or piece of writing, be careful not to turn it into something it was not meant to be.
Are there any poets out there who feel this way? Is it the same with other art forms? Have you ever exhibited this entitlement?