Little did I realise exactly how one small school assignment would have such a profound impact on my life. Looking back now, words played a much bigger role than I anticipated, here is my story of how words came to be a saviour for me.
My Introduction Into Writing!
“The assignment for this week, is to write a poem” said the teacher. I was in year 10, the year 2001. I was a little bit daunted by the fact we had to write a poem, I’d never written before and didn’t really know what I was doing. The poem we had to write had a particular structure, it was a Villanelle poem, which can be quite tricky.
“The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines. Using capitals for the refrains and lowercase letters for the rhymes, the form could be expressed as: A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2.” ~ poets.org ~
Villanelle of Change
Since Persia fell at Marathon, The yellow years have gathered fast: Long centuries have come and gone.
And yet (they say) the place will don A phantom fury of the past, Since Persia fell at Marathon; And as of old, when Helicon Trembled and swayed with rapture vast (Long centuries have come and gone), This ancient plain, when night comes on, Shakes to a ghostly battle-blast, Since Persia fell at Marathon.
But into soundless Acheron The glory of Greek shame was cast: Long centuries have come and gone, The suns of Hellas have all shone, The first has fallen to the last:— Since Persia fell at Marathon, Long centuries have come and gone.
Sourced from www.poetrysoup.com
My First Attempt At Writing Poetry
It was early in the year I think I recall, nearly valentines day and this was to be the theme for this poem. I had a boyfriend at the time and thought it would be nice to write for / about him. With initial guidance from the teacher about what to do and how to make the lines repeat nicely throughout the poem, I got started and quickly found myself with the first 3 lines and I was now happy with the repeating lines for my poem. I found it easy enough to write about my boyfriend, I felt extremely lucky and it was about the only thing I felt positively about in my life. I really wish I could share my poem with you now but unfortunately it got lost along with stacks of my other ones (that’s a story for another day). It was a love poem, innocent, sweet and thoughtful, I was pretty happy with it.
Submitting and Receiving Feedback
The time was nigh to hand my work in, decorated and presented nicely. Typed up with my name at the bottom, I didn’t know what to expect. As my name was called to go and collect it after it was marked, she looked at me and said “this is really good Kayleen. Have you ever written poetry before?” I was shocked to hear those words coming out her mouth. I told her I hadn’t written anything before and she looked shocked, telling me that made it even better, I had a real talent for it. This blew my mind, I’d never really aced any subjects in high school, let alone praises for the work I’d done. This really perked me up and made me even more proud of the work I’d done.
Continuing My Writing Journey
That was the only time I ever wrote a villanelle styled poem, but it didn’t stop me writing poetry. Looking back now, I’m really not surprised that I’ve now found my way into a true love of writing. Since that very first assignment, I’ve always written poems but I never put two and two together poetry and general writing…. But I’m really glad I have now, it’s clearly always been in my blood.
I don’t remember how I found the particular way of writing poetry I did, but my style was 4 line stanzas with the 2nd and 4th line rhyming, and soon I found myself just writing poems for the sake of it, I found a real joy in putting words on paper. I remember one day laying out on the trampoline with pen and paper, the sun beating on my back and I just wanting to write. My dog Jack was running around the back yard, I wrote about him. Then I wrote about the town I lived in ‘Andamooka’. It is an eclectic outback dusty town with so many characteristics to write about, there are dozens of poems which could be written about that town, such a cool place.
An Emotional Outlet
It wasn’t long before I was feeling down again, but now I had an outlet, I could write about it and soon found this was my way of sharing my feelings. Again, I really wish I still had all my poems, they would have been interesting to look back on. I had a really hard life and relationship with my mother, and school life was pretty difficult too. I found a way out of my head and heart when I had a pen and paper. Getting out my feelings was really therapeutic, it made me feel so much feel better. I really struggled with feeling like nobody cared, like I had nobody to talk to, nobody who understood and I felt extremely alone but pen and paper became my friend, my confidante. I could express my deepest pains, share my secrets here and they were safe. This was my solace now. I tried experimenting with other styles of writing, but nothing ever gelled, I was a structured type and I had to rhyme, that was my style. Soon I found myself using poetry to express my feelings of joy and love too, happy times and events in my life, especially for people. The first poem I’d ever written specifically for someone was my boyfriend, I really liked that poem and the way I wrote, the descriptions of the things I loved, there was a specific point in the poem where I described his hands, and how they so perfectly fitted with mine, I think that was my favourite part of the poem. They were away at the time I wrote it and his Mum was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL woman and I wanted to tell her how I felt about her too, so I did. Expressing that I felt like she was another mother to me. She had a crazy laugh and wild frizzy hair, she was unique and everyone loved her, I found it easy to write about all the things I loved and it was a true way of being able to tell people how I really felt, deep down. She actually wrote a poem in reply to mine and told me how she felt about me, that was really special. She said she’d been told she would have a daughter one day, maybe that was me. It was one of the most beautiful things anyone had ever said to me and I cherished that poem more than she ever knew. This unfortunately was one of the poems destroyed among all my others, and I had tried to get a copy of it for my records but situations and circumstances never allowed it to happen.
Throughout the last 15 years I have written poems for many different reasons, boredom was one of them and I wrote a poem about the world called ‘Why’ where I questioned why certain things were the way they were. Some of these random adhoc ones weren’t my usual style, don’t know if there was a particular style for them, I just wrote. There was one I submitted online for a competition one day which resulted in an email telling me it would be published in a book produced in America, that was my ‘Why’ poem. Looking back, I don’t think it was real, but I never followed up again (it was asking for money) so I’m not sure. Seemed too easy.
A Shared Passion
When I met my husband, we’d been working together for 3 months and it was a crazy hectic time, he wrote me a poem (before we were actually together) titled ‘My Rock’. It was the sweetest and most beautiful poem I’d ever received and I was so amazed at his style of writing. I don’t think we’d ever discussed poetry before, it was totally unexpected and he said it was my Christmas present. One of the best Christmas presents I’d ever received. Poetry became something special we shared together and I’d received a few from him in the first few months, it was absolutely beautiful. My husbands way of writing is really abstract, I love how he’s able to put words in the way he does and make it flow. I love that poetry can be anything and doesn’t have to be written a certain way, allowing true artistry and creativity, individuality and uniqueness.
We have written a couple of poems together as a couple since we’ve been together, we’ve kept our collection of poems together, electronically, it’s really nice to look back on them sometimes.
Inspired By Love
A few months ago, I wanted to do something really special for my husband, just coz I love him to bits and what better way than to write a poem, but this one had to be different to anything I’d ever written before. Generally my poems would be written in a day or sitting, but I vowed to take my time with this one.
I wanted to share a journey of the first time I saw him, that moment, when looking back I feel like it was possibly love at first sight, I just didn’t realise it. It took me a couple of weeks to get it right and I got help from friends about how it was flowing and the punctuality, I really wanted this to be special. I’d never sought advice about any of my work before, but I wanted this one to be 100% right. The response I got was incredible and was a pivotal part in believing I had a way with words. One comment from someone who’s known me my whole life said “wow….. double wow even. I have just read it for the fourth time! To me it is a story of a deep love …. one that can hardly be believed and one that is marveled at that it exists. It is beautiful and made me think that every woman should at least once in her lifetime experience such a love story. You really need to foster this Kayleen …..You are a young woman of astonishing depths ….. you need to foster them so that you don’t lose them. All I can say is that if this poem has been inspired by your very own love story then you are indeed one lucky lady and what an awesome thing it would be for your daughters to one day read it and know that their parents shared such a love.”
This really made me feel special and all the more inspired, in fact, Anne has played quite a key role in feeding me with confidence to pursue my writing, so Anne, I’m incredibly grateful to you. Once I was happy with it and I felt it all flowed, I decided I’d put it over one of our wedding photos and frame it as a gift. I’ll put a copy of my poem at the end of my post.
Writing Has Had Such An Impact On My Life
Poetry has really helped me through so much of my life, it was there for me when I needed something the most and I’ll always be grateful for the teacher who instilled so much confidence in my very first poem, I’m not sure if I would have continued if not for those kind words. Looking back, it’s incredible understanding that it only takes one person, a teacher, mentor, friend, just one person to plant a small seed which you may not realise the growth of for many many years.
I’m also incredibly grateful for the fact I’ve been able to find a way of expressing love through my words to others and tell them how I feel about them. Having a newfound love of writing in general, not just poetry I feel really blessed to have found a medium I’m so passionate about and seemingly good at. Even it I only write for me, I love it.
If you’ve ever found your way of getting your feelings out on paper, you’ll understand, if you haven’t, and you need an outlet, you should try it sometime. It doesn’t have to be poetry or a book or anything official, just free writing is great and I’ve done this too, it’s really therapeutic.
Thanks for reading, if you have a blog, or write poetry, leave your link to your blog or work so I can check it out and follow you!!
He was a spectacle of delight, when first he blazed upon my sight,
Watch over him, declared a sweet voice, unknowingly he would deliver rejoice.
Seized by a moments’ grace, an altering of time and space,
All else did not exist, but this man, this moment, this tryst.
His appearance, striking and framed, magnificent, as my breath he claimed,
This man I yearned for, a lot, this man I anticipated, yet did not.
Alike a sunset over the sea, a captivating figure revealed before me,
Old tales of this man, I fantasized, a prediction ultimately materialised.
Eye, spellbinding, stirring my soul, hypnotic in their hold,
I sought his face, hidden in reverie, found promises of passionate mystery.
His presence so tender and smooth, possessing the ability to soothe,
Shyly pursuing this apparition, observed ahead, nigh coming to fruition.
Enthralling me in many ways, standing, locked within his gaze,
Sculptured of wonder and awe, attraction declared like never before.
Owning my existence with ease, his embrace had me weak at the knees,
Dreams of his touch, a delicacy, his caring fold ecstasy.
Mystified from whence he came, bewitching me like moth to flame,
Divine providence would gift this man to me, tangible evidence of destiny,
And I know in the resonant of my heart, nothing, not a thing, could have kept us apart.
‘The words we express have the power to plant seeds whose growth is seen throughout history’