ON THE MEANING OF POETRY
BY JOHN LARS ZWERENZ
I would like this opportunity to thank Mr. Victor Perry of the prestigious Authors’ Lounge for his kind invitation for me to write and submit for publication this article on “The Meaning of Poetry”.
Since the days of Sappho in ancient Greece, and even before in mankind’s long history of existence poetry is a unique and multifarious form of art possessing its own timeless qualities. Poetry is different from a mere collection of words. It is verbal music, containing all of the powers that music can convey.
The primary and first aim of the aspiring individual who wishes to be a poet is to ask himself or herself one imperative question: Am I called by God to the poetic vocation? For to compose true verse, verse which contains mystical music, one must be a poet in life incessantly in the most deepest spiritual and personal aspects as an individual. The poetic vocation is not a job in the usual sense, where one can leave it and arrive at it in time measured increments. To write verse that conveys the purpose of man’s existence, to breathe music into his soul, to give meaning to his suffering and joys through words, in order to do that one must relinquish a life that is considered by most others as “normal” or “common”. And I am grateful for organizations such as Authors’ Lounge for promoting true verse on the wide scale that it does so admirably.
The poetry of the poet stems not so much from the pen but from extremes in life experiences. The bard who is a true bard must go to hell in order to ascend to heaven for the sake of others. In essence, the poet is above all else a servant of his fellow man. He must possess those wonderful gifts of musical expression in rhyme and prose to reassure his brethren that all human life has a profound purpose, that humanity did not evolve from a soulless void, and that God’s heaven and its definitive happiness is our individual and collective end.
If the individual who aspires to write such poetry but cannot, nor can he ever, he is better off looking someplace else for his career or better said, his calling. Today, in our post modern age, too many people who were never meant to be poets are attempting to become poets without the vocational calling. The amount of inferior poetry books today are teeming. Most traditional publishers are dropping the genre entirely. Sadly, the many new subsidy publishers are making a fortune charging these individuals without poetic talents mercilessly in order to cash in on their empty aspirations.
But these are generally unimportant pitfalls that will never cease a real poet’s voice. For one basic characteristic of a true poet is that he or she cannot help but write, at least to record their visceral journeys to the dark abysmal hell of what Saint John of the Cross referred to as “The Dark Night of the Soul”. Purgatory is either fulfilled in this life or the next. No one can escape it. Certainly not a true bard. Neither can the poet escape the paradisaical heights of ineffable ecstasies which resurrect his soul, psyche and spirit. Both of these extreme states are needed to earn the voice of one at once tormented and blessed.
Although I discovered my calling as a poet at the age of seventeen, I in truth was born a poet, I shall forever remain a poet, and that is my ultimately happy fate.
My first two published books, “Selected Poems” (2011) and “Mist and Flame” (2011) were taken from years prior to their publication, mostly written on the road, travelling.
As I grew into my thirties, my poetry advanced in quality and quantity, and became more scenic and mystical in nature. By the time I wrote “Eternal Verse” (2013) I had many mystical visions which were highly religious in nature and provided me with much to compose.
As of the date of this article, I have 10 books of poetry on the market worldwide, with another volume, “John Lars Zwerenz The Complete Anthology” coming out on January 1st of 2020. Again, I wish to thank Authors’ Lounge for their invitation to contribute this article along with their prestigious list of excellent writers to compose and submit this article in the interests of their large and highly respected literary audience..
My works are available internationally in many various bookstores and online. May all of your days be golden and bright. God bless. John Lars Zwerenz, New York, 2019
- Selected Poems (2011)
- Mist And Flame (2011)
- Visionary Wanderings (2012)
- Sonnets of Dusk and Dawn (2012)
- Eternal Verse (2013)
- A Lady Fair and other Poems (2013)
- Ecstasy and other Poems (2016)
- Elysian Meadows (2017)
- The Gilded Sun and other verse (2017)
- Mystic Wines (2018)
- Cathedrals In The Rain (2019) To Be Included In The Complete Anthology
John Lars Zwerenz The Complete Anthology (2020) Release Date: January 1, 2020