In 2017, I started a “Why I Write Poetry” series of guest posts. I’ve already received so many, and I hope they keep coming in (details on how to contribute below). Today’s “Why I Write Poetry” post comes from Ravishu Punia who writes, “Through poems, words say nothing and yet, they utter everything.”
My name is Ravishu Punia. I am a student currently studying MBA and CMA with the hopes of starting a business which could contribute positively to the world. When I am not reading through kilograms of textbooks, I like to write. I am a closet writer who indulges in poetry and philosophical essays as well as a science fiction book (The Game of Life) which I hope to finish by the end of this year.
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Why I Write Poetry: Ravishu Punia
I began writing for the same reason I believe most people take up writing; they have simply too much going through their head. Just before I turned 20, my head was swelling with questions of all colors and sizes. I started swimming in information, drinking gallons of it every day in a futile attempt to quench my thirst for answers. There is, however, a peculiar problem with questions and their answers; answers only lead to more questions for which you need even more answers. Unperturbed by this Sisyphus-like task, largely due to the naivety of youth, I continued my gluttony of knowledge. This was, until, I grew disillusioned with the whole process and gave up entirely.
Finding no answers in the outside world, I turned my attention inward. I began to meditate, convinced that the answers lay somewhere between the neurons in my head. By now I wasn’t even sure about the questions; all I knew was that I needed some answers. Instead of dispelling the confusion in my head, I made the situation worse by tying myself into mental knots. Stuck in this vicious loop, I found myself standing in front of the fifty gates of reason, a spiritual tale of a student of meditation who finds himself lost as a result of asking too many questions (which is also the title of one of my poems).
Losing all hope, I was about to renounce meditation as well when writing found me and showed me a way out. Writing allowed me to perform a "brain dump," to quell all the noise reverberating through my head. I would write for hours on end, spraying my mind out onto the paper through a pen. That was until I hit a wall. Words are indeed beautiful; it is mind-blowing that a few squiggly lines can combine to form limitless literature. They express myriad elements of the universe but their power of expression leaves a lot to be desired. Words do more than fine when they need to convey the tangible, but they fare poorly when it comes to the intangible. I was exasperated with these restrictions of prose until I discovered poetry, which allowed me to leapfrog them.
For poetry is nothing but words that band together in peculiar patterns to point to something beyond themselves. Poetry is word art. It allows you a glimpse into the inexpressible which is the entire purpose of art. I can paint a vivid picture without the use of colors and I can create music without the need for sound. A poem has the imagery needed for a painting. It has the rhyme and rhythm required for music. A poem breathes life into words, making them sing and dance to its music. Through poems, words say nothing and yet, they utter everything. Listen carefully to the silent music because when you lose yourself to the music, you relinquish the need for answers.
If you’d like to share why you write poetry, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a 300-500 word personal essay that shares why you write poetry. It can be serious, happy, sad, silly–whatever poetry means for you. And be sure to include your preferred bio (50-100 words) and head shot. If I like what you send, I’ll include it as a future guest post on the blog.