Saturday, 13 February 2016

Love & Misadventure.

Writers often joke that between their lover and poetry, their lover makes a close second. 

I’m not pulling this out of a movie, I promise; I have literally witnessed someone say this to his girlfriend. Yes, he was being ironic. However, as a writer myself, I understand why those two can be put together.

Like an authentic lover, poetry is soul food.

It is layered, vulnerable and real. It pushes us over an edge of which we desperately needed to fall off; when we do it is a blessing, for we didn’t know before what the ground of being felt like. We memorise this being, slowly, rounding our lips to form the inaudible syllables of the heart. Earth, blood and creative power coalesce. 

One of my favourite modern poets is a woman named Lang Leav. I remember discovering her in an often-forgotten section of a Joburg bookstore that I haunt whenever I’m in the city. It’s called Love & Misadventure. I read it straight through the first time, speaking each exquisite word aloud into the noisy-enough coffee shop where I was sitting and sipping tea.

I’ve since read the book four more times, and interestingly, in each reading I found that different poems struck at my sternum and deserved a sticky note to mark their page. As I change, so does the poetry it seems.

The topic of her words, as Leav says herself, is on the greatest emotion of all: love. Most of them anyway. Therefore, I thought it would be quite fitting to share some of her poetry as my writer’s salute to Valentine’s Day. Beneath the commercialism and ego of the holiday, in truth it is a time to choose to open our hearts; to choose to live more widely in compassion, generosity and kindness. And for me there are few greater rituals to cultivate large-heartedness than reading love poetry.

Love and light

P.S. Some of my own poetry has recently been published! I'll be sharing the links via my facebook page in the coming week.

Leav., L. 2013. Love & Misadventure. USA: Andrews McMeel Publishing.

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