Monday, January 28, 2008

Poetry And The Innocence of Children.

They say children say the damnest things but children can also come up with beautiful poetry - simple and from the heart. Their innocence, together with an imbued ability to be in awe of the natural beauty surrounding us and the wonders of life as they grow up, makes them natural poets. Unlike most adults.

We lose something, don't we, as we aged and travel on this journey called life. Tempered by pragmatism and numbed by the harsh realities of life, we no longer feel inspired and rarely are there times of exhilaration or that "eureka" moment, and neither does life allows us the luxury to be melancholic or even time for self-reflection - all necessary ingredients for writing poetry and along with poetry, an appreciation for life.

I certainly can no longer come up with the poems that I had written in my childhood, poems that were kept in a dusty box and tucked away, and re-discovered recently in The Magic of Poetry. Sad actually, for poetry is the language of life.

So, it was with great delight that my 9 year-old daughter told me about her maiden effort at writing poems. Her "What Is Red?" was a simple but delightful piece of poetry that gave me more insights about her than many sessions of father-daughter chats.

Written with a natural rhythm, it shows me her ability to feel, to appreciate and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us and the simple things that life has to offer, a fast disappearing trait in an age where children are sometimes rushed to grow up, taught to be like adults before their time, without enjoying the best times of theirs and everybody else lives - childhood. It also reminded me what I had lost.

That it came in 2nd after her teacher had submitted it to her school's poetry competition, makes me even prouder of her.

What is Red?
is a rose
as beautiful as can be.

is an apple
as juicy as can be.

is a chilli
as spicy as can be.
is a strawberry
as sweet as can be.

my favorite colour
how beautiful
it is!
- By Teri
Aged 9.

"A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words." - American poet Robert Frost

* Related posts :
- The Magic of Poetry
- The Joy of Writing

*For more poems of startling originality :
- View with a Grain of Sand by Wislawa Szymborska
- The Best Poems of The English Language by Harold Bloom


Keli said...

Your opening remarks are profoundly true. We do lose something as time passes, but I believe we gain something as well - understanding.
You should be very proud of your talented daughter. Her poem is simply lovely!
Your poem exemplifies emotion finding thought. I certainly hope loneliness is no longer a part of your life.

My Den said...

Hi Keli,
For all the bad things that have been written about friendship made over the Web, knowing you had bucked the trend. Thank you very much for acceding to my request.

I am actually in cloud nine with the realisation that my daughter tried writing poems by herself. Just the thought of her appreciating poetry makes me proud and she is going to be thrill by your kind comment.

"Loneliness" together with "Mother" & "Emptiness" was written more than 35 years ago and at a time when life was not so pleasant. And I no longer am.

Once again, thank you very much for
acceding to my request and for your kind comments. Take care.