discussion // Reading Poetry, or am I Pretentious or Just Emo?

I write poetry. I cannot really remember a time prior to writing poetry. It’s something I started doing before I could even write, and I often did it without writing down once I learned. For me, it was always just my default way of expressing myself. There’s no real explanation for. It was just, for a long stretch of time, the only way I could distil my emotions into anything relatively understandable.

It was no shock that when I was in middle school (and I finally got around to writing down my poetry and posting it on Wattpad—yes, it’s still up. Go try and find it, I dare you.), I was drawn to reading poetry too. I devoured novels in verse, declaring it the highest form of the novel. And whenever a poetry collection was put in front of me during class, I was already the excited contrast to the dread that overcame my classmates.

Now, I am not good at analyzing poetry. To me, poetry is all about the emotions. It’s the rawest distilation of human emotion and for all the craft that I know goes into poetry, I find it so tedious to pick it apart and to a degree, I find it invasive. The poet put this out into the world, yes, but that does not give me the right to pick apart what I view as raw human emotion. So I don’t. I read poetry. I let it sink into the fiber of my being. I let it ruin me. I let it rebuild me. But that is where I leave it.

So, yeah, that brings us to the point of this post: Am I pretentious or just emo? In online reading communities, poetry is very much seen as this scary thing. A lot of people don’t read it. And I think a lot of people think of poetry readers as Academics and in all my years of reading poetry, I have never viewed myself or my poetry reading in an academic context.

Maybe I’m just emo.

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