Jack Davis: Poetry

Let’s talk about the power of poetry!  Jack Davis stumbled upon it and now he can’t stop his pen from writing. Read his #PassionPreview: “I'm a poetry minor @ UNC, in the Honors poetry workshop and working on a 1,000 line manuscript. I randomly decided to take a poetry class my sophomore year and absolutely fell in love.”

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Why poetry? “Poetry is my way of making sense of things that don't make sense. So much of poetry is spent exploring what is unspeakable, what is unsayable, and that's what makes it so haunting. There are poems about death and dying that don't explicitly mention death or dying, and that's because the choice to be silent is often more radical than putting something into words. Poems literally are swallowed by the white on the page, and it's because they acknowledge what cannot (or by choice, will not) be described: it is, in a way, the speechless form of speech.”

To someone not interested in poetry: “Modern poetry (like modern art, modern anything) is often received as too vague, too abstract, or unreachable to be read. I hear people all the time, after finishing a poem, dazed, saying "I don't get it." Well stop trying to get it! The best thing you can do when reading a poem is just describe what is actually happening. Forget meaning. Forget 'the point.' Let yourself be taken, read again, and again, and the rest will come.”

To someone interested in poetry: “Be patient with yourself. If you're serious, you know that everyone who begins anything isn't great at first. Early poems are often about what is most accessible (a recent breakup, death, relationships) -- and I would challenge writers to stay away from what is still fresh and raw and unrealized. Poetry can be therapeutic but it isn't therapy, and your readers aren't your therapists. So be careful about just vomiting whatever emotion you're feeling at the time.”

Passion Emoji: 🌫️