Greetings to one and all on this World Poetry Day. Best way to celebrate is to go write a poem or read a poem out loud to the person closest to you, or pause for a moment and think of what poetry means to you. I was thinking some poetic thoughts of me and poetry, of me and writing period. The thought that came to mind, as I looked back down the winding path of my career, was how far I have come from that very first poem.
The way I think, what I think of and the things that influence me today ,compared to so many years ago. What really suddenly came into focus, were the little things that may really have been the power behind my writing or even thinking like a poet. Sometimes we like to give credit to all sorts of grand influences, which in a sense makes us grand too by association. But if you really dig deep, you may find that it was really something, not so grand or mind-shaking, that started you on your journey. Somehow when I think back, one of the images that jumps out of my mind, is the Visual of a Mr. Gill, who was part of my growing up in Grenada. He wrote two books, “Intelligent Eating” and “Unintelligent Eating”, and was known to all as “the Author”. So to this day say Author to me and I think Mr.Gill. So was it Mr.Gill who got me enterested in Poetry and writing?
Then there was school . Of all the books that formed part of my school learning, the only two that I remember clearly are “French Without Tears” and “Writing With a Purpose”.The French I perhaps remember because in spite of the title we still got licks for not doing homework and thus tears. But the title of the English text, the Purpose part, somehow always subconsciously made me ask the question of why am I writing.? Who is my audience? Enteresting...
So for World Poetry Day I would like you to really look at your journey and try to find those credits you may have forgotten somehow over the years and say ‘thank you for being the power in my life.’ Just a note, one Sunday in church, Father reminded us of a saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me.” We as poets know different, words are powerful weapons that can uplift or destroy and we should always remind others of that.
Happy World Poetry Day
Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago