Can I Still Write Poetry?

It’s been a while since I last wrote a poem. It concerns me. The poetry used to present itself unbidden and now it no longer does.

It’s definitely not that I care any less. I love poetry as much as ever.

But writing it becomes increasingly difficult.

As much as I would like to record my experiences in this life via poems, it just doesn’t seem to work that well anymore. My mind keeps interrupting with mundane observations and various pedantery. And other artforms steal the rest of the inspiration away.

Perhaps I’ve just got older. Perhaps I’ve just changed. Perhaps for the better?

Perhaps writing poetry was a temporary thing – or perhaps it comes and goes as needed. Perhaps if ever my life goes downhill again, poetry will return to buoy me up.

But at the moment, everything is great. My life is seemingly on track for the first time ever. And there are so many things that beckon for my attention. The poetry is collateral.

And I am sorry.

But that’s just the way of things.

When I was 20, poetry was all I had to help me through the day. Now that I am 30, my life looks a whole lot different, and poetry has to compete with studies, work, my partner, our cat, the house and garden, my jewelry collection, my artwork and a whole list of other things.

Sometimes I kind of forget it.

And a part of me is ashamed.

But another part of me knows that it can’t be helped.

Poetry was my light in the dark through my teens and twenties. And it will forever shine brightly in my memory. But it is not the pursuit that serves me best in the present. It has – as I used to fear it would – been relegated to “hobby” status.

It deserves better.

But life also deserves to be lived – when it is finally worth living. Not just dreamt up and recorded in poems. Lived. Experienced. Drunk in.

And that’s where I’m at now.

I always suspected that poetry worked best in the darkest of times. Like after the plague. Or during wars. And it certainly seems to have worked like that in my own life.

Even during the recent / current pandemic I haven’t been able to write poetry. Because, you know what? My life’s been fine. I’m no longer alone and miserable. I’m no longer tossed about by forces that felt to be outside of my control. I have taken the helm. And I am headed in the right direction.

Poetry helped put the wind in my sails.

And for that, I shall never forget it.

I hope that one day, I will be able to revisit it, and in better circumstances than during our first encounter.

But now seems not to be the time.

One day, I may be able to write poetry again.

This day, I have too much else on my mind.

Until that day.