If I had to describe my style of poetry I would describe it just that, my poetry. Gabriela-esque style of poetry.
Tonight I sat down and really read Audre Lorde’s Interview with Adrienne Rich, and it moved me more than I could’ve imagined. For so long I would go to my best friend and explain to him that my poetry felt as if it was an out-of-body experience. There are two Gabriela’s the one you meet and then Gabriela the Poet. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve sat back after writing a poem after the surge of emotions have left me and thought ” Did I actually write that?”. Audre Lorde explains to Adrienne Rich how Poetry became her language, her way to express her emotions. She would recite a poem when asked what she thought of something, or felt, and that’s exactly what I do. The only difference is that when I can’t express something in the moment, I go and write them out alone. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been told that I am “emotionless” or that I need to be less “robotic” and more ” authentic”. All of these remarks are coming from people who have no idea that I write poetry or who knew I wrote but never took the time to actually read my poems. There are close people in my life that I haven’t allowed into my world enough for them to understand what poetry means to me, because I know deep down they just would not care enough to understand. I’ve written other posts about what poetry means to me, but after finally reading Sister Outsider I can say I truly understand.
Poetry is my voice.
Poetry is my favorite language.
Like Audre Lorde, when I was in grade school we had ‘Poem in our pocket day’, and I would always have a Langston Hughes poem in my pocket. My favorite poem has to be “The Dream keeper”. I guess I loved that poem because of its purity. As we grow up we are told that our dreams aren’t enough, we are made to feel as if what we have to say doesn’t matter. I don’t think young me really understood the truth behind this poem or the accuracy, but the 22-year old me fully appreciates the truth behind this poem. While we are adults now, and our dreams have been touched by ” the too- rough fingers of the world” we should never give up on them.
As a child books brought me solace, brought me wholeness. This poem brought me happiness, and I actually still have the exact poem that I used over ten years ago during one ‘Poem in your pocket day’. In retrospect, It’s amazing how something so small had such a huge impact in my life. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and speak to that Gabriela, I wonder if knowing what I know now would change her views on herself and her love for words. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t change anything.
For so long I’ve created these worlds in my poetry, lived in others worlds through their books as a way to “travel, and “escape”. It’s easier that way. There is less pain and remorse when you live in your sheltered mind, but there is so much beauty with living in the real world.
While every character in my poems isn’t me directly, it has to do with someone or a certain aspect of my life/ emotion that I just could not express. Therefore, I created an entire world around these emotions. A world where that feeling or emotion was the sun, and everything and everyone revolved around it. I’ve had to physically stop everything that I was doing to write because the emotions and power surging through me just had to be written down, had to be expressed in poetic words. The sun needed planets to orbit it.
Audre Lorde tonight open my eyes to my own words. I have this intimacy, and attachment to my words because they are the part of me that I can only ever fully express through verse. She made me realize that the reason why for so long I have felt like something was missing was because I never fully acknowledged that there is only one Gabriela. Gabriela the Poet. My words and poems are what keep me not only sain, but alive in a word of chaos and broken people.
While I don’t have a favorite poet, I do love Edgar Allan Poe “Dream-Land”, Langston Hughes “The Dream Keeper”, and Wallace Stevens ” Bouquet of Roses in Sunlight”. Poetry is beautiful. Live life, and make sure you are living it for yourself, not anyone else.
Gabriela A Tejada
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All Images were taken by me, unless stated otherwise.
~Thanks kyle ❤ ~