As a child growing up who could not express herself very much; I was an emotional time bomb walking around with a lot of unsaid things and the frequent tears and rolling on the floor in front of my grandmother just seeking attention did very little to cleanse my soul of all these emotional “demons”
Soon I would find myself hidden in places scribbling away on the bare floor. This took the form of writing meaningless things and sometimes drawing images I had no idea about, but I realized I was home. A calmness which was unexplainable would engulf me and all my “demons” will dissolve right before my eyes. My love of languages, reading, poetry and writing began here.
In school I had such confusion grasping any subject which involved numbers; my brain will simply shut down and refuse to function. This slowly turned into a sort of hatred for mathematics and its related siblings. This seem to have followed me into adulthood and I cannot memorize phone and car numbers of even family and friends and counting of huge sums of money is a painful process for me till date.
I have therefore developed so much passion for poetry over the years and having an awesome literature teacher during my senior high school days only helped in cementing my love for it. During my freshman year in the university I went through a stressful phase with my literature courses because I had such a myopic outlook on literature but this soon gave way to curiosity and soon I was basking in the glory of Victorian, Shakespearean, Renaissance, Romanticism and Modern literature. I was fascinated and overwhelmed at the same time. The personal and emotional journey of some of these writers was identical to mind and I had found peace at last or so I thought.
Over the years I have written a lot of poetry and other forms of writings which I put away and totally forgot about because of the stress that came with having a job. A friend who always knew I loved to write advised me to start a blog which I did and soon I was inspired to write again. I write about a lot of issues on my blog but my poetry always stood out and fascinated people who visited my blog.
For some strange reasons I was always uncomfortable about calling myself or having people call me a poet. I always thought to myself that I was not worthy of the title. I had this strong conviction that I had to impact the world of poetry or write such classic and ground breaking poetry to be called a poet. I felt I would be cheating renowned poet such as Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, Wole Soyinka, Kofi Awoonor and the likes if I called myself a poet. Apart from friends and other bloggers who read my poems, who knew or have head of me? I felt I was unworthy of the title. The confusion continued until I decided to find out; who is a POET?
This is the definition that greeted me several times: “A poet is a person who writes poetry”. I paused for several minutes and sighed, so I am a poet after all. From this point on I felt a little less guilty when I call myself a poet. I also came across a definition of a poet by a French poet known as Arthur Rimbaud, he summarized it as follows:
“A poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself; he exhausts within himself all poisons, and preserves their quintessence’s. Unspeakable torment, where he will need the greatest faith, a superhuman strength, where he becomes all men: the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed—and the Supreme Scientist! For he attains the unknown! Because he has cultivated his soul, already rich, more than anyone! He attains the unknown, and, if demented, he finally loses the understanding of his visions; he will at least have seen them! So what if he is destroyed in his ecstatic flight through things unheard of, unnamable: other horrible workers will come; they will begin at the horizons where the first one has fallen!”
For me this was it, this was a definition I could relate to and this is true of most poets. We are on this intense journey full of love, suffering, madness and torment. We take on so many personas so we can speak on their behalf. And on this journey we crush and burn but unlike the phoenix we are not reborn for it ends right there and other poets will come and begin at the horizon where we left off.
Yes I am not famous; yes I have not written ground breaking poems but I am a poet after all.