When all things seem to fall apart into a mess, subliminally, we send messages to our sub-consciousness to put things right, facilitate order from the chaos and mayhem that ensues within the nexus of our brains; that is when the consciousness of the poet is reached. It is found in the self-awareness of this borderline, this boundary that co-exists across the tableaus of the real and the surreal. Its energy can be delicate, animal, electric, alluring and tumultuous, a warm affected living thing; its livelihood wastes nothing that comes into the recesses of the mind.
This is an extraordinary will and test of faith; stoicism in the sight of emotional volatility on a precipice. To get into this edgy trance-like state which can only be reached by the pious, or religious, the Brahmin or the Buddhist through fervent prayer, chanting and meditation, we have to forego all of our embedded fears, writer’s block, inhibitory feelings, self-absorption in our immediate surroundings, all sense of self; we cannot think or even question.
Creative expression will only give way once a union is reached between reality and dream; when a union is reached between the demise of grief and an everlasting faith in the knowledge of the Supreme, coming into contact with the human condition and the powerful role that spirituality plays in it.
God teaches us the fundamentals in the ladders of our genes and spirit; the very essence of our soul. He inspires us, His words educate us, steeped with fable, parable, tradition, age-old knowledge and wisdom. Our grandiose ideas that we set on the blank page comes from this primordial soup. It is only authentic once we truly realise what is behind our writing, our conscious stream of thought, when we stop chasing after letters of the alphabet behind our mind’s eye in a flurry and realise the inevitable – God not only exists in every magical thumbprint but also in our core.
Every human being is an instrument of God’s love; every dogged mission of every poet that has ever existed dead or alive; their life is there to relay previously cloistered information to the world. These intimate letters that are foisted upon poets in discreet moments of stillness when they wait to be inspired and the impact they make upon the shared planet, the impulses they carry throughout this continuum is one that is God-given.
Poets are seers. Poets are always performance driven. They live to see their words impinge on others who do not see the world as they do. The gift of words they are bestowed with, although temporary, like a crest of a wave, makes its indelible mark, shapes the intellect psychically without permission being granted by any one living thing.
Being human, we all come into contact with other individuals on a daily basis and react to their behavioural patterns accordingly. We all, although it takes a long time for children and even adults who are not blessed with the consciousness of a particular talent that they are modest and self-conscious of, see and have different ways of seeing the world around us. Today it might be evil, good, racist, prejudiced, beautiful and filled with loveliness just because of something I read in passing or watched on television.
Poets have a sensitive understanding of what is cognitive, what is psychological, what is real, succinct, a blessing in disguise, what is physical, emotionally rendering, what is eternal, what death really means and the relationships that people have with another in the demanding pace in work spaces. They understand when to withdraw to places of retreat; even when surrounded by crowds of people, congested traffic, they can still be alone, take things slow and ruminate.
They co-exist with nature; obey the organic natural order of things, come face to face with the pretenses and vanity that sometimes gets sucked into a human’s ego, fight against it willingly with maturation or not at all when their senses are infinitely dull.
They translate all of these details into their own work with a subtle yet obvious inwardness. Poets call ‘meditation’ introspection, ‘rest’, depression, ‘withdrawal symptoms’ the side effects of daydreaming.
Firstly, poets must reach within to find positive outcomes for their work even if they brush the page with flaws. Soul-consciousness and God-consciousness are not two separate entities; they are one and the same thing. The two are linked by a telepathic, buoyant lifeline.
A poet soughing is an exercise in motion. He or she must learn to sate themselves, this existential hunger and thirst by creating a subculture herein, heinous or otherwise on the page or the computer screen.
Like water our ideals for writing what seems at first to be a calling to pen a masterpiece, it at first can be pure, fluid even (words can come easily) but we also have to learn to work with what our eyes glaze over as weak substitutes, words that we think have no substance to what we are leaning towards.
What is every poet’s intention? Their intention is to forge, nullify, create, defend, fill the reader with the awe and inspiration that every poet craves. They want to carve a name for themselves in the annals of history, leave a not so quiet legacy behind. Poets want immortality or rather they want their words to become immortal. Perhaps even Marlowe and Shakespeare had discussions about this.
Writing will never be perfect in a poet’s eye. That is why we need people’s criticism, good or bad, whether or not it gives a positive or a negative frame to our work. We are first at hand to fight against the real and the normal in our writing as our outspoken, brimming voice bring truths to light so vividly and intensely for mass consumption that we so long for in our hearts.
When the poet, not jubilant, neither spirited, allows his mind to grow quiet, allows the survival of and realises that all figures of speech matter; when God has witnessed the culmination of his progress; when the writer is almost in a hypnotic stance. Then the poet cannot stop himself when he is in the right place, then he can guess at the intensity, the prowess of his pen, his prolific writing and the intelligence behind his words becomes a self-portrait kind of like what Vincent Van Gogh used to do when he was depressed and lonely, fighting against the emerging feelings of isolation and rejection by the establishment.
This is the same establishment that all those who want to or rather aspire to be literary figures of the century, artists, painters and sculptors want acceptance from. They want to be looked up to.
Young and upcoming poets must approach their craft with an almost angelic perspective.
So many writers are missing a condensed fusion in their writing. They condescend to their audience. The truth is not spoken in their work. They gabble and their words seem to make a hot fuss on the page. What do they gain? They gain this; simply nothing.
Poets must assemble and present their work according to how they see fit and should be careful of advice from other writers and editors. Sometimes there can be too much going on in words that are meant to be given with the best of intentions.
Sometimes the words come like a tsunami; tidal and windswept, they blind you to your weaknesses and it is difficult to keep up with the process. The poet often questions where this ‘voice’ comes from. Who lifted the visor that covered this once locked Pandora’s Box that gave rise to this flight of manic panic? When it feels as if there is too much going on and it is hard to put a stop to it; go with it; go with the incessant flow and ebb; although it is not always posed gracefully.
There will be enough time afterwards to vet everything, go through your nonsensical thoughts, every void and every streak of dissonance left behind thoroughly with a fine tooth comb.
Poets must always strive to dismantle frantically omens and discover fitting miracles to create an opus of thoughts and feelings. It is easy for a poet to become imperious. This will always show up in the writing. It is unavoidable. Truths must marry godheads on the page. No poet is inexhaustible. When fatigue comes as it must, it must be diagnosed.
We must always strive towards the glorified.
A glut of words more often than not often leaves us speechless, not wanting us to destroy that fine line between the omniscient and the omnipresent. Poets are so often faced with the insurmountable and often find this malaise unbearable and unforgiving. Why me? Then sometimes there is nothing. We suffer writer’s block in silence. This sorrow can be stifling. The intake is seldom painless.
Poets must be grounded in the education of the arts, drama, history, mysticism, esotericism and philosophy. To gain knowledge and become learned of the above is easy – read. Poets should apply this knowledge to their work, so a poet will advance to the next level, to the next phase of their emotional, psychological and spiritual development, growing in years in a short space of time, in hours or months if he or she is an avid reader. This knowledge will birth work that is not meretricious but of noble parentage.