This month I would like to introduce you to an aspiring poet and novelist, Jamie Sullivan. Here she tells us of her first inspirational experience that paved the way on her journey as a poet.
Over to you, Jamie....
You could read twenty or so poetry books by any given author, put them down and a few minutes later, they would be forgotten about. You could have really liked them at the time but they just didn’t have that oompff factor that makes you remember them years down the line. That’s why they were and still are forgotten. There are only two poets that really stood out to me because they did have the oompff factor. Lord Alfred Tennyson and more importantly, Edgar Allen Poe.
I was already a weakling poet when I first found Poe. Poe threw everything I thought I knew and had known about poetry up into the air. I would read the same poem over and over again, mesmerised. The words flowed with mastery, they imprinted crystal clear pictures onto my grey matter. Never have I forgotten that poem: Alone. I felt as if I wasn’t reading the poem but the poem was reading me. I was lost in a world of fluid artistry, words that spoke as clear as someone stood next to me, as if I had been violently sucked from one world and cast into another. I was enthralled.
The book in question was a battered old hardback that I had bought off a car-boot sale for fifty pence. The Complete Works by Edgar Allen Poe, Second Edition. I had heard his name before but thought nothing of it as I cracked open the tatty cover just a few hours later. Sat on my bed, legs dangling over the side on a hot summer's Sunday afternoon; I remember it perfectly. I was eleven years old and it was the school holidays. Once I had opened that fabled blue and faded gold cover, never again would I forget, or sideline, his name again.
From sunrise to sundown I read that book, absorbing every word, every metaphor, every little scene that played out behind my eyes. And now, even as an adult, Poe is the main driving force behind my poetry.
Every now and again I will grab a poetry compilation off my (badly overcrowded) bookshelf with every intention of reading Eliza Cook, William Blake, Lord Byron but no. I would and will always find myself absently creeping back to Poe on page one hundred and fourteen. Ha! That should say something, I don’t even have the book in front of me.
Like Poe, my poetry is dark and sombre. Some people say its too dark but that is my own personal spin on it. Just like Poe. He did not care about rules or what people wanted to read, he just wrote because he had a passion for it, the same as myself. I consider my writings to be my life's blood.
I do have my lighter poems but they are few and rare. I only write lighter poems when something truly inspires me to do so as they are the ones that tend to be harder to pen.
My biggest desire is not to be famous, not to be a best seller but to impact my readers. I would love twenty years down the line for someone to pass a junk stall pitched up next to a battered Toyota and halt in their tracks when they see the battered and faded cover that belonged to my poetry. For them to gasp and remember the delight of holding one of my poem's in their hands. For them to remember what fantastic journey I took them on as Poe did for me. For them to walk excitedly up to their friend and yell passionately that they are holding another book of my works. I don’t care if I have to live in poverty for the rest of my life if it means achieving this.
This is my dream and it will never change.
Now, in all honesty I am not a great poet, I am not even a poet with a capital P. However, I will say this: admitting one's mistakes and trying again is one way of becoming something or achieving something you truly desire. If you don’t admit to your flaws or your shortcomings or your mistakes, you will never get anywhere. And THAT is the beginnings of becoming a poet with a capital P.
|R.I.P. Edgar Allen Poe 1809 -1849|
A little about Jamie
I first begun to write in my early childhood as a way to escape the trails and tribulations of family life. It was at first, only a pass time for me but when I reached my teens it became something of a hobby. In my late teens I knew what I wanted to do with my future: I wanted to be an author. Not for fame or money or the proverbial red carpets. No, I wanted to offer other people the chance to escape everyday life like so many authors had (and still do) for me. That is how my writing became a part of me. It was my passion, my vice and my mind. It spoke to me in so many volumes it was hard to ignore. It was my calling.
In my mid teens I entered a poetry competition through United Press for the International Anthology of Young Poets with a prose poem called Her Arms Were Heaven. I came within the top 20 runner up's. It was my first poetical piece and I was awed that I had made it so far. My poem was printed in a large ten piece volume of leather bound and gold embroidered tomes.
My future is unset. Whether I get published or not, that is unclear but I will continue to try. It is a goal I am aiming for but not one I will achieve until I know within myself that I am ready. Writing is not something I do on a whim. I take it seriously. Writing is my child that needs to be nurtured and raised to a decent level of self acceptance. Only when I agree with myself that I have created a piece of art shall I be ready to get published.
Thank you Jamie for an informative and insightful glimpse into your world!
If you would like to connect with Jamie and find out more about her and her work, then click the link below.
I think this is one poet we need to keep our eyes on.
Until next time, ciao and happy reading my lovelies.