“Out of the quarrels with others we make rhetoric; Out of the quarrels with ourselves we make poetry.” - Yeats
To each and every person a quote can be interpreted in their own way. It has taken me a couple of years to work out why this quote I read in the copy of Anna Karenina has had such resonance. To me, the quarrel with others and with myself are a matter of cause and effect, it feels like they come hand in hand. Without the negative experiences I have with others, there is no reason to have “an angry argument or disagreement” with myself. So, excuse me Mr Yeats, but I am turning the rhetoric I have with others into my poetry.
I mean what is my poetry even? Well, it transpires in a few ways and to start off with it’s in all endeavours creative. When I started writing it was in the form of journalling, personal and for my eyes only, expressing everything I thought and felt about the things I was going through. It used to be a means of protecting myself and not letting my guard down, like a way to expel any energy that could potentially put me in harms way. All those once fluttering thoughts are rested away safely in notebooks living in a box under my bed. With time that has changed, writing a piece now is my version of “poetry” created out of the “quarrels” caused by that very “rhetoric.” I am letting my guard down because it as a form of my expression that I want to share. My quarrels, whether they be with myself or with others, have an immense impact on what I want to create. That’s where the poetry transpires - it affects my mood and in turn my likes and dislikes, my style, my choices, what music I listen to, what I am interested in and well, in general how I view the world around me everyday.
We are all learning from what hurts us and causes pain and what makes us feel good and brings us joy. Feeling those things requires a certain level of self assessment whether it be conscious or not. In fact, what my girl (yeah you Hayley Ku’unani!) said about making this assessment is just too poignant - to paraphrase “Even though there is toxicity others throw at us, we need to think about the toxicity we also bring to the equation. The only difference is that our toxicity is aimed toward ourselves.” Here’s where the quote for me comes in big time. I’m going to be using it as the foundation for my blogging, flipping the toxicity on it's head and into my poetry. A diary of my style, thoughts and everything in-between.