How to write poetry that flows spontaneously may appear to be a narrow topic, but writing advice for one form more often than not can be applied to another. I’ve admired Balroop Singh’s poetry and nonfiction for years. She’s an introspective soul who draws upon a stockpile of grace and wisdom to grapple with life’s curveballs. These qualities make her a poet and writer to be reckoned with and read time and time again.
Official Bio: Balroop Singh, a doting grandma and a dedicated wife, a former teacher, and an educationalist always had a passion for writing. She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, and a relaxed blogger. She writes about people, emotions, and relationships. A self-published author, she has written five books and her fifth book Emerging From Shadows was launched on July 21, 2017.
Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.
How to Write Poetry That Flows Spontaneously
My conviction is that poetry flows from our hearts. It is like that mass of snow we call a glacier and when it starts its slow movement, it thaws all the icicles, which keep mounting within us, in the hope of receiving the warmth of words.
The words may form in the mind but you can’t put them together unless you infuse them with sentiments and sensations, which lie buried in our heart.
Two constituents of good poetry are emotions and words, which are intertwined. Words are meaningless without emotions.
Words evoke emotions; they heal with love
Words stir passions; some of which they shove
Words inspire, they take you with their flow
Words silence; to enlighten you with their glow
Words excite; they can hold you in a trance
Words soften; they can change your stance.
© Balroop Singh, 2017
Whether it is romantic or spiritual poetry, an elegy or an epic, a classic or contemporary, abstract or acrostic…all forms of poetry bank on emotions, which are ebullient and eloquent, shadowy and oppressive at times. How accurately has Robert Frost articulated: “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
I don’t remember when I started writing poetry but one image looms large before me–pouring my thoughts, which I didn’t want to express or share, into small phrases, keeping the real ideas ambiguous thereby giving vent to my feelings and letting the reader discern whatever meaning he wants to pick up. I was amazed at the feedback and the interpretations of my poems.
Slowly those alleys I experimented in, widened into avenues of observation and experience and I discovered more themes of human interest. Poetry that focuses on what lies within a human heart, combined with imagination and imagery from nature is more poignant. It becomes a channel between the heart and the soul and crosses over to more such hearts.
I have always believed that emerging from shadows is a choice, which lies within us but we keep ignoring that inner voice, which is vociferous in my book, Emerging From Shadows inspiring all those who feel darkness is the only place of self-solace.
Have a look at this excerpt from one of my poems in this book:
I convince myself to rise, to react
To push perils that glare grimly
To satiate shadows that gloat glibly
Positive light is just round the corner
The hope is beckoning bright…
© Balroop Singh, 2017
Imagination is my principal device, which has assisted me in entering the minds of those in distress though some poems flow out of my own challenges.
The following excerpt from my first book of poetry Sublime Shadows Of Life speaks of raw emotions, flowing straight out of my heart. Though they have been interpreted differently, I wrote these lines when one of my daughters flew out of my nest to pursue her dreams.
Hand in hand we walked on
Brushing aside thistle and thorn
Sharing vision of future bright
Weathering storms, accomplishing heights
Your éclat illuminated my pride
Those precious moments now deride
Tide came…carried them along
Bare sand, where do I belong?
© Balroop Singh, 2003
The following poem was inspired from the life of a loving friend, on the verge of divorce due to emotional abuse, but she kept postponing it due to the pressures exerted by families. An extremely successful woman now, she carries a volcano within, which protects her most secret thoughts…longing to erupt. Her bewitching smile never betrays that well guarded anguish she carries in her heart. I have tried to unleash it here:
Will They Fathom?
Two Angels on my lap
Tears in my eyes, twinge in my heart
Do I look helpless?
But that is your myopic eye
Which fails to see my grit.
That is your sadistic mindset
Which bears such crippled thoughts.
That is your sick, conservative attitude
Which feeds your hollow ego.
Don’t you know?
A Phoenix rises from its ashes!
I know life is going to be a drag
But was it ever pleasant?
I know my Angels will grow up
But I will not look back.
No more emotional hurts,
No more societal pressures
None of those oppressive judgments
I have had enough.
The only worry…
Will they know, will they fathom
My compulsions, my hurts
Will they assuage my pain?
I know they would move on
I know this is the way of the world.
I love my solitary space
‘Love’ was never my grace.
© Balroop Singh, 2014
If you are a poetry lover or a poet, I am sure you know the value of emotions and if you want to write poetry, just let them burst forth. You will be astonished at the outcome. I have seen that those who vehemently denied their interest in poetry and gave me blank looks initially have produced excellent pieces in creative writing workshops.
Even those who have never tried to write a poem could draw inspiration from George Sand; “He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.”
I am extremely grateful to Jeri for hosting me here at her blog. I venerate her professional skills and her benevolence as she provides an admirable platform to fellow authors to exhibit their work.
What experience do you have with how to write poetry that flows spontaneously? Have you participated in other improvisational activities?
All images are courtesy of Balroop Singh, 2017. Please share responsibly.