Have you ever felt the kind of pain you can't physically explain? No, I don't mean like getting your tongue cut out... But being in such excruciating emotional pain that the words in your head can turn into nothing but blubbering gibberish? Â Have you ever loved someone in a way that every kiss anyone in the history of the universe has received couldn't even touch the high it makes you feel?
I'd like to think I'm not the only one whose ever felt emotions that send your head and heart reeling. Believe it or not, I suck at explaining to people (except for my friends) how I feel when I try to physically speak.
Now, the written word is my great solution to this. I've written tons of stories varying in genre, but none compare to the amount of poetry I've created.
Poetry is my way of speaking when I can't find my voice. It's my way of expressing myself in a way I hope people will understand me. It's how I connect with the rest of the human race. It's how I've managed to stay alive so long without completely snapping.Â
I love poetry because it's something everyone can understand. Sure, there are those poems you read your freshman year of high school that used big, scary words and metaphors that represented things you'd never heard of... But there are exceptions. I write allusions to things people understand, and yes, sometimes I have to point them out. I love how a dozen different people can read the same poem and take something completely different out of it.Â
I write poetry for many reasons. As mentioned before, I write to keep myself from snapping. I write poetry because it's the best language I know how to speak. It reveals things about myself and others I never thought of. It also doesn't have to stay in the lines if you don't want it to. It makes me happy and most of all it makes me feel. I believe that people nowadays, especially in my coutry, are becoming too desensitized. I am constantly hearing about death and destruction that it just becomes an everyday thing... But that's for another time.Â
I first began writing poetry on my own in 6th grade. I was inspired by my best friend (who still is such), Hannah, who I'm pretty sure came out of her mommy with a pen in her hand. Hannah's poetry was so deep, raw, sometimes even dark that it struck every cord in my body and mind. I'd never felt emotions like the ones her poems evoked in me. She even wrote a poem to me called "Art" that made me cry every time I read it for years.Â
On a side note, many people have written me poems. Some have even written poems in response to my poems (including total strangers). To this day, Hannah's poem "Art" is the most beautiful thing anyone's ever written for or about me (sorry boys). She makes me out to not only be the gorgeous girl, but also to be the best of human beings. Knowing that someone sincerely thinks about me that way... It's just astonishing. It helps me get out of bed every morning. See what kind of power poetry can have?
Anyways, I have also had some amazing supporters. My friends, family, and most of all teachers have always encouraged me to dig deeper and write fully.
Â The #1 person (in my mind) is my 7th/8th grade Literacy teacher, Ms. Tiffany Sedberry (I believe she's married now, but I only know her maiden name). She was a huge critic of my writing, and was also a great mentor/counselor. When I was (yet again) the new girl, she would take me aside and talk to me personally about why I cried so much. In a school surrounded by strangers who at first weren't willing to accept me, she was my hand to hold onto. You can bet my writing then became dark and ominous. I even wrote a short series of stories (in her class) about a woman who hung herself because her husband and son had died. Only Ms. Sedberry would ask me what I was feeling after she read it, instead of just sending me to the school counselor.
Â In 8th grade I was going through some tough things with my family, especially my mom. I wrote poems, short stories, and even a memoir everyday. At first I was hesitant to let my teacher read my work since whether or not the content was school appropriate was questionable. I did anyway, seeking an opinion for someone I really looked up to. She would hand write responses to my work, being critical yet still kind. Ms. Sedberry gave me the best advice I've ever gotten about writing and life in general. She told me, "from your pen flows the greatest intellect of your mind, the pure creativity of your spirit, and the deepest passions of your heart." She told me to keep all of my writings because as we get older, although we may not forget the feelings themselves, we forget how intense they were. She also reminded me to always write sincerely because readers can tell when you're not being honest with them/yourself. At the end of 8th grade I was awarded the "Quick Wit" award in student council ("To be deserving of the quick wit award, you have to be a woman of words. Reading, writing, and listening help develop the quick wit ability. With the power to make words cut like a good sword or heal like a good medecine, you must choose whether to use the power for good or for evil!").Â
I couldn't thank Ms. Sedberry enough for all she'd done to me, but I tried. I spent months hand-copying a hardback notebook filled with my poetry and short stories for her. On the last day of school I gave it to her, she hugged me, and we both criedÂ . I still feel like it wasn't quite enough to repay her...
Years later I wrote a poem dedicated to this amazing teacher and it is the poem I've decided to share.
If you've read all of that, then congratulations and thank you!
*Please DO NOT use this poem in any way without giving me credit for writing it.*
*This poem is dedicated to Miss Tiffany Sedberry, a Literacy teacher that supported and loved my writing and who cared for me when no one else would. Thank you for all the advice and help.
My Empty Canvas
From my pen flows the intellect of my mind,
The creativity of my spirit,
The thoughts of my soulÂ
And the passion of my heart.
The paper is my empty canvas,
Warmly opening it's arms to accept
My pain, love, sorrow, happiness, and secrets;
Feelings I would never share with anything else.
I paint my picture onto the page
With swift, gentle strokes
And soft, honest thoughts.
I stain the paper
With sharp words threatening
To make you feel something.