Writing a sad poem contains some sense of happiness.
It’s satisfying to read my thoughts on the page when those thoughts are exactly what I’m trying to say. Poetry can be interpreted hundreds of ways, but I know when I get it right regardless of how someone else may understand it. I don’t mind so much how other people read my words, so long as I’m confident in what I’ve said.
I’ve been writing a lot of sad things lately. But I’m not sad all the time.
When I feel sad, I write a poem. I’ll probably cry. Then I read over my work, I might edit a little, and then I don’t feel that sad anymore. And, okay, maybe I don’t feel quite ‘happy’ either, but just because I write sad poems does not mean I’m an overwhelmingly sad person. It’s just my way of processing the emotion and then having the peace to move forward.
So I’ve been writing a lot of sad things lately. But outside of these poems, I’m relatively content. Not quite happy, but then sometimes I am. In the least, I’m not sad all the time. Poetry lifts that burden off me, to an extent, so long as those poems are not written just for the sake of it. If the poems are genuinely processing the emotion, then they help me feel better. But if they’re written for the sake of pulling myself into sadness then they make me feel worse. So far, this hasn’t happened because all my poems have been to process and move on from what caused the sadness. I don’t dwell unnecessarily long on what I’ve written, but use these poems more as landmarks that, when I look back, point to the different stages of my life.
I was looking through my latest blog posts, and the poems haven’t been happy. But once I write them, once I post them, I am not unhappy. They’re reminders of what I did feel but I do not carry them around all day. And that’s important when it comes to writing about real, emotional things. You can use what you’ve felt, but you can’t take it all everywhere you go. At some point, we do need to let go and let ourselves move forward.