Blog, Poetry

My Poetry in Context

It occurred to me recently that readers of my poetry might get the wrong end of the stick, because a few things might not be obvious.

Let one fact be stated now, so you first of all get a good solid understanding of where I am coming from with this. I only ever wrote poetry between the ages of 11-24. No more, no less.

These poems are finite in number and were written during periods in my life that were emotional – and of course they were: the poetry was written in my late childhood, all the way up through my adolescence and into my early adulthood.

During that time, I went through much and recorded via the medium of poetry.

My personal belief about certainly my poetry, if not poetry in general, is that it is to record an instant, a moment of emotional truth. It is a captured butterfly, a photograph, a bolt of lightening as unique as a finger print or the veins in a flower petal. It cannot be faked, conjured or forced and must be recorded as the brain empties its interpretation of what it has just gone through, onto the page.

There are peaks and troughs with my work. This though, is simply symptomatic of what was happening at the time, in accordance with the above principle.

When I moved out of my childhood home when I was sixteen, there is poetry about that. When I made new friends in new places, there’s poetry about them. There’s poetry about how much I love my brother and sister. There’s poetry about different boyfriends. There’s poetry about falling in love for the first time. There’s poetry that deals with my now lifelong battle with anxiety and depression. There’s poetry about being lonely, bullied and isolated. There’s poetry about having my heart broken. There’ poetry about falling in love again and finding joy and peace at last.

To name but a few subjects.

Then, the last two poems I ever wrote and swore I would ever write, were about my darling eldest daughters when they passed away. One of the two poems was written at the bedside of my dying child.

I stopped writing poetry after those two were penned – simply because… well… is there ANYTHING more moving or important that writing about the death and soul destroying loss of my own children? Is there anything more important or emotionally exposing? It wasn’t just dealing with the joy of motherhood; it was dealing with unimaginable loss and the greatest emotional agony I have ever experienced.

The subjects I write about are finite and the number of poems I wrote about a particular time in my life is simply in response to how much emotion I was experiencing at the time.

Yet, in publishing them piecemeal on here can give the false impression that I am “going on and on” about a particular subject or time in my life. I am not. It just so happens that quite a few of my poems covered a particular emotional bog and therefore, you will see more of those than you will of others.

I won’t apologise for being prolific over particular subjects – but I won’t have a reader misunderstand me. I don’t want a false opinion formed of my work either. I won’t have you think “oh, she’s obsessed with this particular subject because all she does is put up these poems about this happening to her, she should move on!”

I have moved on. From everything except the loss of my children, because you simply do not ‘move on’ from that.

I just wanted to address the imbalance of subjectivity that you will be exposed to with the poems that you will see here. I would rather you understood when the poems where written and what they were looking at.

They are also adolescent verses. This means they are contrived, formless, twee and at times, can appear a bit forced. This is how I basically wrote as an immature poet trying to find the right way (for me) to write, when I was still learning English Literature and Language at school>college>university.

Poetry is – as I often state – for the interpretation of the reader and there are no right or wrong guesses, but every so often I will explain what something is about. This is where you may have the opportunity to see that there are a few things that are about the same subject. Or you can just interpret something being about a specific subject.

There are not many things available in my poetry, that reflects who I am today or what is important for me now. Perhaps, they (and the entries in my 100 Objects Project and Emotional Memory Series) will give you a glimpse of the foundations on which my life is based upon, but you can’t see the structure on top.

I hope you enjoy the poetry I wrote many, many years ago. Be assured though, it does not necessarily demonstrate who I am now or any particular truth about me these days. Other than, perhaps, that I am an emotional, caring and deep individual.

Cat x

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