Before I came to uni, poetry was one of those things I enjoyed reading and listening to, but never did myself. Even though I read the works – and listened to the words – of all these wonderful poets I found online and in the library, writing poetry still seemed like something angsty teenagers did alone in their rooms. Then I got to Winchester, and I attended my first ever Poetry Platform. The Poetry Platform is a great open mic night, where poets from all over Hampshire can come together for a monthly night of wordery (this is a word now). I loved it from the beginning. The vibe of “everything’s okay here”, the little stage that welcomed everyone, how there was always room for one more person.
The entirety of first year was spent watching everyone else perform, while I was trying to build up a portfolio of half-decent poems in the creative writing course’s mandatory poetry lessons. I started loving those lessons too. Seeing poetry so alive, and workshopping other students’ lines, sentences I could only dream of writing one day, made me fall in love with poetry as a medium. It’s a love affair I hope will last a lifetime.
I don’t call myself a poet. There are way more talented people, those who can express everything they feel so elegantly, who’ve just got words flowing out of their brains in poetic sentences every minute of every day. However, I do love putting together simple, uncomplicated poems, poems that ponder on how we all more or less fumble through life. They’re rarely very deep, they don’t often tackle very heavy subjects, but after a performance the other day, someone told me they thought my writing felt like “a hug in poem form”, something they felt they could relate to, and I loved that. That’s exactly what I want my “art” to be. Something to make people feel nice and warm and good.
Here’s a video of a poem I did on this month’s(April’s) Poetry Platform. I’m still working on the title, but it felt like a fitting poem to do on my (most likely) last performance at the Railway.
(The song is “Har du Fyr” – Hekla Stålstrenga, a beautiful song about your home always being there waiting for you, no matter how far off you venture.)
Edit, September 16th:
It’s all a bit soppy, but as my three-year England adventure came to an end, I felt like I was allowed to be. I’m still quite proud of Winchester, what I challenged myself to do there and what I managed to figure out on my own, and even though this poem is far from all that eloquent, I like it as a snapshot of what I felt like as that chapter of my life was closing.
Well well, my new BA is thankfully just as exciting as the Creative Writing one was, so here’s to another interesting three years!