“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”-Robert Frost
I’ve been writing poetry since I was 14. One of the first poems I remember writing was in gifted class in 8th grade. I wrote a poem using Georgia History facts by making every line rhyme. I continued writing poetry in high school: most of the poems were similar to worship songs. Later on, I wrote them to help me work out feelings after hard break ups or to get through other difficult times in my life.
Poetry has been there with me through it all. That is why I love writing it so much. Constructing phrases, rhythmic or rhyming, helps me to work through my emotions and experiences. I can dive deeper into my problems in a beautiful way as I place all my pain on paper (or a document).
I wrote ‘Emotions’ as an expression of the various feelings we all experience: anxiety, peace, apathy, passion, jealousy, contentment, despair, and joy. I hope it reminds others that they are not the only ones to ride the roller coaster of life. That everyone rides its many highs and lows and holds on tightly for every unexpected twist and turn. I hope it reveals that there is beauty and purpose in the pain and that joy is made sweeter after a mountain of difficulties.
Here’s an excerpt from ‘Emotions’, the poem ‘Passion’:
I am alive
Or at least that’s how I feel
Pulsating with energy I didn’t know existed
My eyes widen at the thought of doing what I love
I’m surfing on an endless surge of emotion
The ocean is full of ebbing waves
Carrying me on a crystal sea of happiness
I can’t be still, so I move swiftly with grace
Gliding through the waters with joy
As pure ecstasy joins me
We are whipped by powerful winds
But we remain undeterred
Even the shore is glistening as we reach it
I feel peaceful knowing I can do it again tomorrow
My heart is full of unexplored depths
Its cadence is mesmerizing
I dance to its rhythmic beat
To know I’m truly alive.
My friend Brandon enjoys writing poetry, too. He wrote an in-depth review for ‘Emotions’ that I’d like to share with you. You can follow him on twitter here: @bardspell and read his writing here: http://bardspell.blogspot.com/.
“‘Emotions’ by Erin Bower is a collection of verse on the ruminations of a daydreaming introvert’s experiences with self in relation to her own personal universe. It contains eight poems that explore the range of emotions the author experiences, alternating between the painful to the pleasant in couplets through the octave. The collection is a fascinating look at how someone, trapped inside of themselves, unable to express their feelings to fellow human beings in conversational language, expresses those feelings to the unknown through the medium of poetry.
The apparent daydreaming nature of the author is shown through the fact that she generally eschews concrete imagery in favor of what seems to be dream symbolism and the archetypal. In “Anxiety,” the author’s haunting line,
“Worries tumble out of me like dangerous flames…”
is reminiscent of someone who associates the danger of fire with panic, a primal fear, showing the author to be connected with the collective unconscious. It is intriguing how, although most people I know in reality become anxious through distorted perception of their security, the author draws upon a memory, perhaps her own from childhood, or perhaps from the deeper part of the mind that reaches back to ancestral fears. And I find this part of the essence of being a dreamer.
Other poems utilize similar imagery. “Passion,” the longest in the collection, I imagine represents the most important emotion to the author. She utilizes the ocean as a metaphor, again archetypal, yet somewhat more concrete. She associates the blissful state of being near to the sea as an invoking of that great passion within her to simply exist. The experience of reading this poem was like being inside the head of one who greatly desires to be at the beach while facing the drudgery of everyday existence, something we can all relate to. I imagine the author at work, miserable, hearing endless wave upon wave in her mind, and then suddenly being quickened to complete her duties with vigor. It is endearing.
I connected most with the author in her poem “Apathy.” It was soul crushing, utilizing the metaphor of death. Death, probably the most concrete of all human experience, is again treated as dreamlike. No person in particular dies, except for the author in her day to day experience of agonizing discontent. There are words here which stick inside of my head and haunt me: “My soul is a pit of nothing / I am dead inside .” I think back to my own experiences with the Abyss talked about by so many mystics and feel the author has experienced this “dark night of the soul” as well. I feel close to her through the shared experience of sinking into the void, the darkest days of my life, and I imagine her experiences with the same sinking into the fabric which annihilates the self and ego.
I would recommend “Emotions” to anyone, whether they be an introvert or extrovert. For introverts, it is soothing to know that there are others out there that experience the same feelings that you do, which is a sort of bonding unavailable to those who find it difficult to communicate. For extroverts, it is a glimpse into the lives of those you see everyday, so quiet and inhibited, whom you fail to understand through your day to day experiences with them. All in all, though this collection bears a roughness inherent in any first publication, I will revisit it again and again, and look forward to reading more of the author’s work in the future.”