"Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity," said William Wordsworth. Poetry over the years has taken different shapes and sizes, changing its rules with time. From a past, when the meter, rhythm, lines, content and traditions mattered, it has evolved into words strung in order, following no particular rule, abiding by one, that is, to make sense to the writer and their reader/listener.
The mystery of not knowing the meaning of each line and therefore being open to interpretations, today's poem varies, as the writer pens the words in simplicity, reminding the readers of their feelings or issues revolving around them, and at times bringing into attention, what the writer thinks is the most important to him or her.
From the epics and odes, to sonnets and ballads, romanticising nature and love, not far behind, to a free verse, were the common man mattered and juggling between the set patterns of traditions and moving away from it, we have come a long way to digitalising the lines and performing poems at open mics and stages. Today, the poems have a voice.
Differing from T S Elliot's view of 'self-sacrifice,' that is the poet must erase all traces of his/her personality from the poem, so that they are a mere medium, today, poets are both the medium and the poem. Poems no longer needs a hero and their tales to spin around or the winds of change, because today the afflicted and the victims have found their space, as the poet writes, as one among them.
Informal, simple language, struck its chord. Age and sex is no longer a barrier. Content is not something to worry over. Statements are made today and emotions given importance to. And with music accompanying the words, poetry has become every man's language.
"Men don't feel pain….
It's not their fault you see
This is what they've been taught since centuries
…. Man up, they told me...
He's a product of a failed social system,
where expressing himself was considered sin
....tell him that he needs to speak....
And most importantly,
talk to yourself."
-How to be a man, Simar Singh
The idea of "emotion recollected in tranquillity" is a question today, but there is "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings," in all these poems. And when performed it becomes even more real, as emotions are expressed, at its best.
Does this intend, that anyone can be a poet?
It's upon the audience to decide, for a good poem will always leave you mesmerised, thinking about it, more than once.