A Poet is!
Once upon a time, long long ago, and not so long ago, a man took his quill, dipped it into the ink well, and with passionate strokes, wrote what we today call a poem. It is highly probable of course, that the first person to take up the quill, or whatever writing device of the day, was in fact a woman, but we wont go there, lest Men, get all uppity:).
One of the most intelligent and dramatic poets of all time, was King Solomon, who was given in Holy inspiration, and wrote the Song of Songs, as was his Father King David, who wrote many of the Psalms.
Then came the likes of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Elizabeth 1 and many more of that era. All throughout history there have been these literary geniuses, called the poets.
Well, thats the historical side of it in short, as I am not about giving a history lesson here. My aim is to give insight into what a poet is, as i said.
He/she is a passionate person, with a deep desire to reveal to the world, or small community, deep emotional thoughts, aspirations, frustrations, and communicate them in such a way as to rouse the senses, all of them.
A poet loves to induce all manner of thoughts and feelings, stir the blood so to speak, in a humorus way, through Rhyme, or Free verse, Haiku etc. A poet also loves to titilate the senses, by writing erotic thoughts and needs. Sometimes a poet likes to convey a message to someone special, or someone considered to be an enemy, the end result of course being the content of the poem.
Above all, A poet is, and unsung singer, and unrecognized playright, a forgotten Oscar nominee, a forgotten member of society.
Thousands daily, search the archives of Universities, and Poetry organizations who claim to be willing and able to present to the world, the writings of usually young unsuspecting poets, and then leave their precious works upon the shelves for the vultures to come and feast upon. I speak of these people as vultures, because they take for themselves and put into lyrics, plays, moviescripts that which they do not own, without so much as a backwards glance.
You ask the question, why do we let them, and why do we keep on writing, knowing that the literature thieves are out there, waiting to pounce upon the labours of love that are produced by passionate individuals.
We let them, because being the kind of people we are, usually melancholic, and tarred with sanguine, we cannot help ourselves, we have to share, we have to delight, or annoy :) as the case may be. Its all in the nature of the beast. Can you take a Musician and tell him he cannot play his instrument anymore without sending him into deep depression? No you cannot, so therefore, you cannot take away the quill, the pen, or the keypad from the Poet, without leaving him/her feeling as though they are naked and without purpose in this world.
The very same world that sorely exploits such generous and loving minded people. They say poetry does not pay, well neither does painting, unless your dead. Shakespeare is more popular now than he ever was alive, as is Van Gogh. Not to say that any poet ever succeeds in making some monies from writing their passion in their lifetime, but the majority never get past the proverbial front gate.
A poet is......largely a used and abused, exploited being, but you cannot stop him/her, anymore than you can stop the Sun rising in the morning, or the tide coming in, and going out.
All poets take a bow, and remember this, where would the Oscars be without you, the Grammy's, the professors who teach in Universities, the journalists, I could keep going with a list as long as your arm, longer.
Take heart at who you are, and what you are, and hold your head up with pride, knowing that the world of entertainment would cease to be without the Poet. Though Copyright agencies do protect to an extent, they cannot be everywhere!
A poet is... A Motivator! And he/she inspires.!!
Cherie de Perrot
Copyright 2003