It’s Saturday and time for the sixth poet in Writing and Works series of guest posts for National Poetry Writing Month. Today we’ve got Sarah Doughty telling us what poetry means to her.
Hi, everyone, I’m from Heartstring Eulogies, a blog dedicated to my writing. My name is Sarah Doughty and I love to write.
It’s my therapy. It’s something that I need to do to help me cope, to help me through. It’s a hobby, but it’s more than that.
Writing to me is like breathing. It flows in my veins and gives me hope. Hope that one day I’ll come out on the other side of all this darkness and agony that surrounds me.
I suffer from extreme complex PTSD, and with that comes depression and debilitating anxiety. Commonly, if I don’t have a migraine, I have a headache. Every. Single. Day. Writing is one of the ways that I weed through all the pain, trying finding myself again.
I’ve written a few (fiction) books, and soon a poetry chapbook will be completed, that were a way for me to escape my mind and enter another, to experience something amazing and healing at the same time. I’ve shared them freely online for anyone who wants to read them, so that maybe they can give someone else hope, or the same, temporary escape as they did for me. Read a little more about them here. (https://thesarahdoughty.wordpress.com/a-brief-intro/)
But on my blog, I wanted to evoke feeling, share what I’m feeling, and show people suffering from their own haunted pasts that they aren’t alone. I invite you to experience that with me.
Poetry is a way to evoke (if writing) or to feel (if reading), and a powerful tool for poets to connect with their readers. It also helps provide an escape, or to invoke nostalgic memories.
Over the years, I’ve read from many different poets, but I think some of my favorites are Edgar Allan Poe, Albert Camus, and Charles Bukowski.
In terms of my inspiration, aside from the poets I mentioned, my inspiration comes from all over. Heartache, joy, love, loss, and everything in between. Poetry is all about invoking emotional responses from people. But it’s more than that. It’s compacting as much emotion as possible into as few words as possible. I remember reading a poem written by Hemingway that said ‘For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.’ I don’t know about anyone else, but as a mother, reading that made my heart hurt. Just the thought of why that baby never needed those shoes was enough to make me count my lucky stars that I didn’t have to go through something like that.
But I think it’s also important to empathize with a great many different scenarios. Poetry isn’t always truth to the poet, but being able to understand how someone feels in a particular situation makes it possible to evoke that feeling.
One of the perks of writing poetry and fiction is that poetry teaches us to make better choices with our words. And when we apply those same standards in our fiction, the words are more precise and direct, leaving readers with a vivid experience, where they feel like they are in the story. After all, that’s what escape is all about.