For the longest time I, just like most of you, read novels and penned the stories of characters I had conjured up mid-English class.
When a poem contest or poetry café came around, I’d toss words about to make them rhyme, sound zappy – and perhaps a bit purposely over-the-top. Because wasn’t that what poetry was all about – To sound extravagant?
No, no, no…Says my 2018 frontal lobe.
My younger self didn’t grasp the meaning of poetry. But, here’s the thing:
Have you ever watched The Dead’s Poet Society? Yes, yes? Or maybe no. Right, well. You really should. Because if you have, you would recall this part about poetry, spoken by the masterful teacher Mr Keating:
We are people, moved by situations, stirred by circumstances, tested by fate and matured by reflections. And in writing our verse, telling our gripping stories in moving stanzas, we capture what it means to be human in lines. Between the lines are the untold, the very little and the very much of who we are and what we think we should be.
And that, that friends, is why you should dip into the poetry well. I want to encourage you to reeeead more poetry. Seek it out, share it, and resonate with it. Write poetry, try it out, and find it in your style and in your own time. I assure you, you won’t regret it.
Let me share some of mine from my collection, On the Edge of Destinies:
When I ask you to join me
To come to the threshold of reason
And look at what remains to be seen
You don’t realise that you are already with me
Carried in the connectedness
Of our souls
You are here,
You are already here.
On the edge of destinies
Which ignite the world –
Bringing amazement of starry-eyed cataclysm
There stood a boy
With a single handful of pebbles
On a gravelled street
And with none to observe
The glare of the galaxies’ promise
Reflecting from his soul
Let them not say we did not try
that morning we awoke to a new country
it was the inauguration of the day
the softest blossoms lined the streets
in the background dawn ushered in a new awakening
crisp breath sighed heavily on cold air
and in small drips the rain made its way
into the streets we had filled yesterday
the end and now a beginning –
could we be ready, young South Africa?
My must-check-out-poets list is pretty expansive, admittedly. However, I would encourage you to peruse Maya Angelou, Rumi, RupiKaur, Hafiz, Nayyirah Waheed and Atticus Poetry who are all legendary word wizards.
Do you have any others to share? Do comment below to let us find them!
Let the poetry journey begin 🙂
Nabeela Kajee is a medical doctor, writer and thinker, living in Cape Town, South Africa. On The Edge of Destinies is her astonishing first collection of poetry. She started writing at a young age, and drew inspiration from remarkable poets such as Rumi, Maya Angelou, Kabir and Hafiz. Nabeela believes that words are a powerful instrument which can be used to change the world. Through her writing, she hopes to inspire growth, upliftment, and empowerment.