For me poetry is about feeling. It’s about those issues that I grapple with everyday. Some of the things that inspire me maybe as simple as a song that I used to listen to way back or may be triggered by someone’s name or a smile. What’s hardest is when this happens and I am driving in traffic and I can’t stop because I will be late for work and words keep pounding in my head. Or in the middle of the night when I cant summon the energy to get out of bed and do some writing. I feel bad in the morning when I can only grasp shreds of some profound feeling that I had in the wee hours. I keep telling myself that I must by one of those Dictaphone thingamajigs but I have never gotten round to doing so. This would be cool so that when I get to where I am going or become full awake, I can just rewind and put all the sentences together and hope that I can make sense of the confusion.
Recently one of the people who reads my poetry (and I am flattered by all of you who think that I write half decently) asked me why they were all so sad. Then I didn’t have an answer but I have been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks and I think I now have a somewhat wholesome answer.
Up to two three years ago I never wrote anything and never read poetry. Since I started reading I have become amazed at what is out there (here)! Not from the famous poets but from ordinary people living ordinary lives that I can relate to. The amount of talent that is out there is unbelievable. Everyday I am blown away by what my fellow Kenyans feel and how well they put it across. I honestly feel that they have inspired me most. Most of what I read (and really feel) and what I write is based on human emotions. It is therefore correct to say that I am most at ease writing about what I am feeling or have felt. Since most of my poems are sad doesn’t mean that I am sad person. Far from that it- I am one of the happiest fun loving people that I know!! That said, I feel that in terms of memory- sorrow, hurt and pain are the ones remembered longest. Good times come and go, as do sad moments but sorrow is so much deeper and lasts so much longer. We feel it more.
When your relationship is on the brink and you are about to break up with a companion it is the hurt that drives you. Even if you’ve spent years together the happy times will always pale next to the sad ones. I think this is because human beings are sensitive to each other more than to anything else.
As long as we continue to live people will always write about sadness- maybe as an act of trying to warn others of lifes challenges and to pass on the knowledge that no situation is permanent. The knowledge that the sun will always rise tomorrow and there is always hope for joy and laughter no matter how shortlived.
I promised myself that I would try a little harder to write about the things that make me smile everyday and those that make go to bed with a warm feeling every night.