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Today’s post is brought to you by Jasmine Farrell. Thanks, Jasmine!
Writing poetry is the preeminent route to express myself. Poetry is my biography. Story telling has always nudged my shoulder since I can remember. To encourage, enlighten and cause a few chuckles within people, writing is the way to go for me. My grandparents, on my mother’s side, were unintentional story tellers and hearing them merely planted a seed within me for creating stories.
When I was a little girl, I used to write stories in the language of toddler. I was so fluent, I’d sneak downstairs to my late Grandmother’s bedroom and write my eloquent scribble scrabble in her memo pads, she scolded me to stay away from. I’d read my stories aloud to my mother and she’d nod in admiration of my words as though Langston Hughes had reached our home on 638 44th street in Bay ridge, Brooklyn. I’ve always been fond of poetry. However, when I was in the second grade, poetry pinched my heart like clothes pins to sheets on clothes lines in backyards.
I never noticed my loved for poetry until I was thirteen years old. I was over flowing with repressed emotions, lack of freedom, “Mom never understands” and crazy for a boy who didn’t care to know what my favorite SlipKnot song was. You know, the usual thirteen-year-old angst on love and coming of age. I needed an outlet to release, an outlet to share whatever was going on with me ( I still have my stack of composition notebooks filled with poems and songs). However, I didn’t choose to be a writer then. I desired to be a fashion designer. I knew how to sew, sketched countless designs and I even had a brand name in mind.
I attended Fashion Industries High School wide eyed and ready to become the next Ann Lowe with fishnet cut off gloves. However, during my fashion classes, I would find myself writing poems and stories. I would rush through my fashion assignments so I can finish a poem. I’d shove numerous poems to, the editor of My Quintessence, Andrea Lauren to read and rate. By my Junior year, I joined my high school’s literary magazine called, The Hanger. The Hanger editors took us students on a field trip to a poetry event that featured Major Jackson and that event is what hooked me in. That event grabbed my love for poetry by the collar to take writing seriously. There was something about observing the various voices, poetic devices and forms utilized on one platform that made me realize I could share my story too- via poetry. I remember a teen reciting a poem, who obviously practiced internal rhyming faithfully, that detailed the story of gold diggers. Another student did an acrostic poem on women being called bossy for simply having leadership skills and I was floored at her use of alliteration. After that event, I knew I wanted to be a creative writer, especially a poet. I researched various poets, poetic devices and forms. I decided to major in English once I arrived to college. I began writing short stories and Christian spoken word pieces. I joined my college’s newspaper for a few semesters and submitted a few of my poems into poetry contests.
After publishing two poetry collections, de-converting from Christianity, beginning the journey of self-discovery and performing at various venues, I realized why poetry is important to me.
I write poetry because that’s where my memoir, voice, soul and heart resides. My “When I was little” wounds reside in the crevices of allegories. My heartbreaks and love stories leap off pages with internal rhyming. My views on social justice and humanitarian issues scream free lyric and grittiness. Poetry is my biography and my introduction.
Story telling is a great form to share the lessons that life has taught us. It connects us and reminds us that we are not as alone as we think we are. Whether an oral tale or a written one, stories can become our getaway, our teacher, our paper friend and inspiration.
Jasmine Farrell is a freelance writer and blogger. From Brooklyn, NY, she has a Bachelor’s in Communications and she loves red velvet cake. Writing in her Grandmother’s memo pads is included into her repertoire of writings. Creative writing is her niche. She loves reading, randomly dancing and creating off-key ballads.
Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a collection of poetry that draws the reader into the world of personal identity, inner growth and the complexity of human relationships. Ordinary and common images, especially ones found in nature, are used to craft poems that appeal to the uncommon, the suppressed and the others. Filled with incredible grace and accessible wisdom, the poems explore a wide range of complex emotional themes. With unexpected metaphors and sparkling similes, the pieces vary in rhythm and theme making each one like a foil-wrapped candy: something to savor, enjoying each new bright color on the tongue.