I live my life on the outside of a constant state of monologue, and writing poetry began as the other half of a conversation I had with myself - an unfettered conversation that asks every question I am able to conceive, and suggests every answer I can possibly conjure. When I first found myself capable of lucidly expressing a thought succinctly on paper, the clouds parted and the sun shone. I imagined a freeway of such thoughts, travelling in a line from infinity, towards infinity, right in front of me. My task was to simply reach a hand into the stream and clasp an idea or an observation, then write it down. Ha ha! There was a new poem. Easy as that!
Over time, the process of identifying thoughts and subjects has become a little more challenging, and I, a little less prolific. However, I cannot imagine living without knowing the desire and need to write about the things that I see and feel around me in my daily life. Every breath is a complete stanza.
It is my belief that people need and respond to stories and story-telling, and so, generally in a free-verse format, I try to tell tales with a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and to create a journey of the whole, so that the interested traveller might be willing to go along with me for the ride. Free-verse writing allows for rhythms without relying on rhyme, and each piece flows best when written while I have a sense of music in the background of my mind. A successful piece of writing will almost demand a regular finger-tap of rhythm as it is read. It should unfold according to its own internal harmonies.
Finally, I believe that poetry needs to be accessible to the reader. It should offer a familiarity that feels comfortable, and at the same time, is captivating or provocative. It should introduce new concepts without perverse delight in the capacity to alienate or obfuscate. Once upon a time, not too long ago, poetry was a primary means of communication from one person to another, and not a specialised niche on the outer margins of awareness for a few cognoscenti. Read and enjoy.
Frank Prem, 2010
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