Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
- – ‘ Funeral Blues’ by WH Auden
I was a kid who never understood poetry. A girl who never understood the concept of romanticizing a simple river or a road to an albatross or any other thing as a matter of fact. I remember thinking, How is poetry even written? How do poets look at things and situations in a way so oblivious to others? I have never read poetry except for the ones I was forced to study as a part of my academic curriculum simply because I disliked it.
It was in tenth grade that I realized that all my failed attempts to write poetry lead me to the conclusion that I was scared of poetry. I was scared of this piece of literature that was bounded by the rules of punctuation and stanzas. I was scared that I would use a full stop in a place where a full stop is not wanted, a comma everywhere and the us of semi colon was still lost to me. So I abandoned it. I suppressed the poetry that rose within me and slowly killed the poet that I could have been simply because English scared me.
When I decided to pursue a degree in literature, I knew I had to face my fear of poetry. However, while the rules and regulations were taught to me in college, I was to learn poems by poets who never adhered to them and somehow it encouraged me to pick up the pen to jot down the lines that have been forming within me for the past 19 years of my life. My poetry is not grammatically correct but I refuse to believe that it has to be. That is the beauty of poetry, the wrong becomes the right and the right becomes mundane.