35 comments, 58 on me, 0 contests, 0 columns, joined Aug 19, 2009
Visited on May 20
I've been writing poetry and song lyrics for as long as I can remember. During my teens I was prolific, writing about ten poems/songs a week. Once I moved away from home to start uni I didn't have as much time to write and so got out of the habit a bit but I think that my poetry has matured a great deal during this time.
For me, poetry is a method of catharsis. Most of my poetry is quite intensely bleak. It's not that I'm really that depressed (although I was during my teens), it's just that I find it very hard to write anything of merit during the good times. I put a lot of passion into my poetry.
I've had a lot of obstacles to overcome emotionally in my life, and many that I am still struggling with. Abused as a child, I found myself scarred emotionally and engaging in a series of self-destructive habits (self-harm, abuse of alcohol, sex and drugs). These are some of the main themes of my poetry.
When I was 18 I was also diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism in which linguistic abilities and intelligence are not impaired, but many of the more instinctive aspects of the social and emotional world are a struggle. Quite a lot of my poetry also deals with this theme, especially my feelings of not fitting in or not being fully human.
Other common themes in my poetry reflect my interests. Having Asperger's syndrome makes it hard for me to understand the world in the ways that most people do. Instead, I relate to the world in a more academic way. I try to understand it in terms of philosophy, psychology and science. I'm particularly interested in existentialism, quantum mechanics, etc. and write about themes such as the nature of the self and consciousness. My drug use, although often self-destructive, has also allowed me to explore other states of consciousness and ketamine in particular has opened up new ways of thinking about the world that I would not otherwise have been able to conceive.
During my teens, a lot of what I wrote was very intensely melancholic and full of imagery of blood and suffering. Looking back, I find much of my earlier poetry too melodramatic and think that sometimes the extreme nature of the content undermines the seriousness of what I was trying to convey. These poems come across, to me, as a little whiney and attention-seeking, although the fact is that at the time I actually did my best to conceal how bad I was feeling; I hid my poetry (and my scars) from everyone but my then-boyfriend. I suppose this is why I didn't feel the need to hold back: censoring the content would only have undermined the cathartic process of writing the poetry as the intended audience was no one but myself. Bear that in mind if you come across these poems when reading. My more recent poetry tends to hold back on this imagery and favour a more narrative style, often introducing irony, although the content is generally still rather dark.