To define poetry is to limit its infinite potential. There is a bit of poetry in all of us, in the way we move, in our words, our actions and reactions, in the bottom of the well of thoughts hidden in our minds. Poetry is all around us.
Instagram has an insanely huge poetry community, and while it is rife with criticism and plagiarism (an unfortunate by-product of any creative, artistic community), it is by far one of the most inclusive, supportive communities that I have found myself following, and a part of.
I have always had a connection with prose and poetry, specifically free verse and narrative. There is catharsis to scribbling out thoughts and feelings, unedited in notebook after notebook, on scrap pieces of paper, unsent letters. Finding a poet that speaks to your soul, is like finding a piece of it that was missing.
and if your gift is to make people. feel.
something. do not cover that in
apology. do not lie. to accommodate
others’ fear of feeling.
– nayyirah waheed.
It is so easy to criticize free verse (and short) poetry, the style I most am drawn to, because it follows no rules, but that is why I find it so captivating. With so few words, someone can crawl inside you, and leave an imprint, forever changing the world around you.
My favorite contemporary poet is Nicole Lyons , and it took me some time to find her but undoubtedly I have kismet to thank. Her words often fuel my spirit and are the embrace I need on days I feel like the strength inside of me has all but depleted. She also inspires me to write, something I stopped doing too long ago and didn’t realize the gaping chasm it left behind needing to be filled.
I recently reviewed Nicole’s latest release, Blossom and Bone:
Before you even climb inside of Nicole’s words, the Forward written by Candice speaks to all of us. Those new to Nicole and those wrapping her words around them like a well worn blanket.
Nicole is my favorite contemporary poet, for her words speak to me on a level none other has. It is difficult to review pieces of Nicole’s work individually, as they are written in such a direct way and yet, they are so empathetic that you can interpret them with your own soul.
No matter what you’re going through, there is a part of Nicole that will speak to you. Blossom and Bone is no different. Her third published book, and full of the unique tone that is all her own. Her poems are stories to be told (The Keeper of Time, Under The Sycamore), are anthems to be shouted (Battle Cries Blaring) and an embrace when you are clouded in your own darkness (I Won’t Always Be Me).
Nicole is a force, and Blossom and Bone is another raw, heart stealing edition of her power.
Without Nicole, I would not have had the pleasure of becoming enamored with Alfa Holden (alfa.poet), another force on Instagram who has also recently publish a book, Amid Thirsty Vines, her fourth collection of poetry.
Both of these women are incredible, yes, and there are so many more poets out there, some more known than others, some truly hidden gems, all equally deserving of praise. Below are just a few, skimming the surface of talent that surrounds us, vulnerable portraits of artists who paint with words.
- Leah J Stone
- Jacob Lee
- K.R. Cash
- Jon Lupin
- Tyler Knott
- Natalia Crow
And do not mistake that vulnerability for weakness, because it takes an immeasurable amount of strength and a kind of bravery to put your own soul on display for the world to consume.
Some of my demons left me,
some are just asleep.
A few always travel with me,
others haunt me from the deep.
The little ones are charming,
they are allowed to stay.
The big ones tear me up inside,
I just wish they’d go away.
– Natalie Crow