Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bound To Ramble: Defining A Poet

by J. Hoods (writer), Los Angeles, December 06, 2006


A friend of mine asked me a question and I’ll be honest, I felt I have no right to answer it. Even though I admitted that to my friend, she still wanted me to try. Her question, “What does it mean to be a poet?” At first, I told her to go ask a poet, but she claims that I am a poet. “It’s what you do.” She said. I do write a lot, hell if I know if its poetry, but I do write. Then she followed with the same questioned, but rephrased, “Why do you try to write poetry? What does it do for you? I mean, is it the fact that you might be discovered, become a famous poet and have the chance of immortality though literature? Or do you just write because you have nothing better to do?” This, I felt I can answer. And I also thought this would make a good article. So, this was my explanation to my friend.

Writing for me, is a form of release; A way to express myself in the only way that makes sense to me. It’s build up emotion that’s in your mind and heart. It just stays pinned up inside with no real form of expression. Just how I work, I really have no clue why. And when I think of a word, a phrase or an idea that just jolts all my emotions, that’s when I start writing. As soon something like that happens, I just start writing. As I do so, I keep rambling in my head. Different lines, phrases, words, ideas, tons of things going through my mind that I sometimes even ramble out loud. Writing to me is like screaming when you’re angry or frustrated, crying when you’re sad, telling a significant other how wonderful they are and how much you love them. Writing for me is expressing a very strong emotion. She asked why express it this way. I thought about it for a good minute, and then responded that I don’t really know any other way, and once I start, it’s something I really can’t stop. I just keep going till I write what I need to write on paper. I’m not too sure why it was writing, I have no clue what made me want to write things down on paper when I start to ramble things like that in my head. It’s the only thing I can really do at the time I guess. It’s funny; it’s almost as if writing chose me. Then again, that might not be far from the truth. I ramble in rhymes and I it has a certain flow and it just comes and goes. And after I write whatever I need to write, it’s just a sign of relief. Its like something extremely heavy has been on my mind for a long time, and I finally decided to just let it go. I feel great after I write, I feel inspired, creative, accomplished, and just reminds me that I’m human.

I doubt I’ll ever be discovered as some kind of poet by someone, and I never really gave much thought to the immortality aspect of it. I do admit, that would be great if something like that happened, but I never really gave it that much thought so no, I can honestly say this isn’t the reason why I write poetry. I just think that writing poetry with this kind of motivation just doesn’t seem right to me. It may work for others and all power to them, but no, not for me. I doubt I’ll ever be famous for my writing and even if I do, I just don’t see myself caring much for that kind of thing. At this point, my friend pointed out my website I use to run full of my poetry, short stories and such (I stopped updating/maintaining years ago). I admitted that the website kind of contradicted what I just told her, but I explain the reason why I created the website was to have a public form. I didn’t really put myself out there to try to become famous or this or that, I did so I can share what I wrote and maybe meet people that can relate to me. There isn’t really any point to writing anything if no one has a chance to read it. I just felt better about myself for doing that because I feel I truly expressed myself to the world and it just didn’t feel like pointless rambling in a journal. It makes my writing mean something more. She nodded and accepted my answer, and we ended the conversation something like this:

Friend: So that’s why you’re a poet.
Me: Again, I really don’t consider myself that.
Friend: But that’s what you write, so in my eyes, you’re a poet.
Me: I’ll take your word for it. I always see it as organized rambling.
Friend: So, going to ramble anytime soon.
Me: I can’t really say, I’m always bound to ramble.
Friend: I hope you never stop.
Me: I don’t think I have much of a choice.

After this conversation, I asked myself the question, “Am I a poet?” I thought about this for a long time after writing this out, and in a way, it does seem like I am a poet. But I still can’t help but to just think of myself as a man who loves to write and is always bound to ramble.

About the Writer

J. Hoods is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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