If I Were to Write the Song …

Inspired by Rupi Kaur and her poetry’s rawness, I wrote a poem on a whim on the train last night and started blogging this morning. Then I found out it was #WorldPoetryDay and I have never felt such serendipity. What better day to write about this female poet that toes the line between vulnerability and strength in ways I honestly envy.

Rupi’s poems in Milk and Honey illustrate the real emotions we feel in relationships and experiences we have as women. “Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.”

The book is divided into four chapters: The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, The Healing. Each chapter is instantly provokes personal anecdotes. Reading and rereading certain poems, it’s baffling to me how her world can feel so similar to my world. She writes without apology about the female experience, how women are constantly quieted, how we’re taught our bodies aren’t meant to take up space. How these are still truths today is beyond me, yet I relate to each one.

The juxtaposition of unfortunate truths within beautiful writing is the magic of Rupi. How does she make me feel sadness and hope all at once?  Playing with poetry is liberating. There are few rules, but still structure. Emotions can be strung into short pieces emphasizing each breath, each thought. The order of each word strategically placed. Poetry is also a snippet in time. How I feel today can be expressed in a completely different way than I feel tomorrow depending on each punctuation, the rhyme scheme, the repetition. I was scared to share one poem of an ambiguous experience, Rupi published an entire book speaking to her family life, her sexual life, her life as a woman. It’s a fast an easy read at the surface, but take an extra second on each poem and it’s a truly inspiring work. I’ve included a few of my favorites below.

Context of my poem: I’ve been independent since birth and never felt compelled to find a man. It was never a need for me. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 17 and  in hindsight it’s clear it happened because I craved a crutch after I lost the only man I thought I’d ever need. I’ve been dealing with my first adult dating experiences in NYC and it’s been oddly challenging and not similar to anything I witnessed growing up in the Midwest. After a bad breakup in college due to my naiveté towards love, I was out for the count and thrived in my own little world. That is, until recently when I had a positive experience for the first time in literally three and a half years. It was short and sweet and we’re still friends, but it wasn’t my decision to bring things to a halt and it wasn’t the way I thought things would go. This is the first time my heart and my head have been at such odds. But every cloud has a silver lining. It has taught me a lot about myself as an individual. It has taught me to ask for help. It has taught me a lot about what I want in life. It has reminded me my biggest comfort is thoughtfulness. Dating is  confusing but I’ve been riding the wave of feelings I haven’t felt in ages – or maybe ever.  This is what flowed out on a packed subway car to Brooklyn.

I feel okay
And then I meet you
I feel something new
It ignites my soul
I convince myself it’s fate
Then we part
And I think we should never be apart

I feel okay
And then I know you
I feel your presence
It wraps around me
I convince myself it’s safe
Then we part
And I lose control of my heart

I feel okay
And then I see you
I feel our chemistry
It catalyzes a reaction
I convince myself it’s real
Then we part
And I know it was over before it could start

-LJW

 

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** If I Were to Write the Song … – Cartel