If you haven’t checked out my last post yet, do so. In that post, I briefly explained the background of the poem in which I was writing it. Today, however, I want to go further in-depth, and then perhaps maybe get into a theoretical aspect of writing poetry.
One thing I want to first note off is that for this poem, unlike any others I have written, is that I actually get quite literal. In my first line, I say “she’s looking at me”, then later on I continue on with “Her head turned/ From the corner of her eyes”, and soon I have another “Her eyes scan over me,”, and I end the poem with a “And I solemnly realize/Even if she does like me and even if I like her back/We will never be together.” All of these are literal descriptions of what I saw from her while I was writing this poem or what I was thinking.
The second big difference is that I did not attempt to put any fancy smancy literary devices like I usually do. For those who have read my past poems before, you might have noticed a ton of symbolism in those poems. I actually made an effort to put those in, because I had a belief that symbolism was the ultimate essential piece of literature and was what made things beautiful. I HAD that belief. As you can see in this poem, I made no attempt. I just wrote what I automatically felt.
So what made me shift from symbolic to more literal? Music. Nowadays, there is the general gist that contemporary music is not deep, that it is dirty, that it is just people singing and rapping out shit. And as a child, I totally agreed with that. I barely saw any symbolism or any of that stuff in say, Ariana Grande’s music. Her songs oftentimes are just a repetition of the words “I love you” in various forms.
Take this sample from Ariana’s “Right There”-
You know what I need (aye)/I know what you like, (aye)/Put it all together baby/We could be alright (hey)/How could this be wrong/When it feels so right/Yeah, I really love you/I really love you (oh)
And I’ll never let you go…
Here, the lyrics are seriously just like literal talking, and I don’t see any artsy kind of stuff. There’s no symbolism I see or any literary devices I see. Yet guess what? I still like the song.
And why is this? Because sometimes people don’t get your symbolism the way you see it. The saying “as big as a rhino” can be perceived differently. I might see it mostly in terms of size, while another guy might see it mostly in terms of roughness, etc. Sometimes, people don’t even catch it or get it at all. But with literal words like “I love you,” people understand what one is talking about.
Another good thing about being literal is that people can relate to it more. Whereas symbolism and literary devices seem to be relegated to poets, authors, and literary artists, being literal is what people do in everyday life. Therefore, people understand it more. When a guy asks a girl out, he usually doesn’t say, ” Will you float with me above the clouds and bathe with me in water?” etc. He will simply say. ” Will you go out with me?”
And then this concept of writing poetry without thinking but just feeling. Just doing so, I feel it captures the emotion more- the way my heart leaped and the way I felt scared when she looked at me. Whereas if I had thought too much about how to incorporate symbols and other stuff, I would have gotten lost in the thought and forget about the initial feeling that propelled me to write the poem. This is perhaps a new concept that I would have to explore more.
But overall, I realize that today’s music is not less deep. Just more relatable. Yet, I believe the best way is to achieve a balance between this literal-ness and symbolic-ness. In my next post, I will shift away from art and move into something more science-related.