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Poetry to me is the freedom of expression, snapshots of experiences, and a boost of encouragement.

Why is poetry more than just words?

When the verbal use of words didn’t work for me, I found my passion for writing to tell my stories. It didn’t matter if it was excitement, bitterness, or pain because storytelling through poetry, and even poetic performances brought light for others to better understand me. They also helped me to better understand my own self.

The most beautiful thing about poetry is that anyone can utilize it. Whether you are physically writing on paper or vocalizing, no one is doing it wrong. I find myself striving for in the area of art. To articulate one's emotions better, creative writing is a tool and a gift to share with others; a  tool that can unite young folks, adults, and communities. The power of words and wisdom that come from each other cannot go unheard. You cannot silence one’s gift of art, as it is the arts that speaks the loudest, because of the demonstrated ability to allow an audience to feel and empathize with someone else, that perhaps one couldn’t before.

Back then, I would’ve said I found myself, but I didn’t. I just began to expose myself and being able to explore my own identities is then when I found my passion for poetry.

Many people find it shocking when I tell them I love to read and write poetry, but I tend to hate reading most books. It is poetry that grabs my eyes, because poetry is rather different from most texts because it allows self-reflection and freedom to gather and intake from the work written by the author. There is usually not a direct guide, but leeway for interpretation, unlike many novels, and other styles of reading.

Poetry does not have to look only one way. In fact, my poetry started from a couple words to a couple lines, to a couple bars. As an author, a poet, and musician, I know that poetry is for everyone, and can be used to highlight and amplify the voices of folks that can’t find their outlet. Poetry has how I feel in my true element when I am reading and writing--something I incorporate into my daily routine. It allows us to connect with others and our own inner self. This is it, make writing affirmative.

How can you incorporate poetry in your normal school day?

For those who are able- try to write something every day, even if it is something short and sweet.

Next time you find yourself waiting between school and sports practice, or while you have some downtime during lunch - try writing for a bit. Instead of going on social media, take out a pen and start writing for a couple of minutes, or pull up notes on your phone if that is accessible.  A good way to ground yourself and take a breather is to describe everything in your surroundings (e.g What can you See? Hear? Touch? Taste? Smell?)

One could have lines of poetry, and the other could have half-complete thoughts, my advice to both authors: Don’t stop writing. Beautiful words are often released when there are no set of rules, when you find your own rhythm, and especially when you think you have the least to say or write. In spaces like classrooms, or study halls this is a good tool and way to utilize what’s enjoyable to do some creative thinking and reflection. Whether it’s a coping skill, or a breather, this helps me decompress from my stressors in my environment. Grounding yourself by writing is always peaceful.