Reflections on Poetry (featuring special guest Beem Weeks)

Greetings everyone! Queen here. In honor of National Poetry Month, I extended an invitation to people who have read any of my poetry to stop by. Today, another person has stopped by to share his thoughts.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Award Winning Author Beem Weeks.

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Beem Weeks
Blog | Twitter @BeemWeeks

Also check out his other twitter, set up to support All Things Indie
@VoiceofIndie

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I created my first short stories at age eight. I recently celebrated my forty-eighth birthday. It’s a true statement when I confess that I’ve been writing for most of my life. Writing is just one of those things that feel comfortable to me, like stretching in the morning after a well-slept night.

Fiction is my strong point these days. It’s where I’ve hitched my wagon, so to speak. In my late teens and early twenties I wrote concert and record reviews, telling readers what I liked or hated about this band’s or that singer’s latest work or live show. Toss in the occasional book review and it’s easy to say I’ve covered writing across multiple formats.

I even gave poetry a try back in the 1990s. I’ve never posted any of those efforts on my Goodreads page. It’s not that those words are terrible; it’s just that, well, poetry is not an easy forum in which to write. Poetry takes a certain skill to craft something that reads truthful and believable. Though I enjoy creating characters, scenes, and stories set in a fictitious world, I seriously lack the wherewithal needed to construct good poetry.

Poetry, like music, comes from the soul. It is the spilling of hurts and pains and joys and frustrations onto paper for others to read, to feel, to experience. The really good poets have the ability to connect with the souls of those reading the finished work. Queen of Spades is one such poet.

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I am fortunate enough to possess paperback copies of Reflections of Soul and Eclectic: Beyond the Skin, two brilliant collections of works by a poet at the top of her game. I prefer paperbacks. I’m old school in that way. With a paperback, I can pick the book, thumb through the pages, and choose a poem at random. I can underline passages that jump out at me. Poetry does that: jumps out and grabs hold of readers.

What makes Queen of Spade’s work so unique? It’s the way the writer breathes life into each and every one of her words. And they truly are her words. Sure, we all use those same words in our everyday conversations. But not in the same combination Queen of Spades uses them. From the tip of her pen, these words come alive with emotion; words that reach inside the reader and make a connection, soul to soul.

There is a certainty to Queen’s words, a knowing that comes from experiences lived and survived. When her words are read, the reader believes the message and carries it around like a personal memory, a thing tucked away for future reference.

Where fiction is creating characters and worlds that don’t really exist, poetry—great poetry—shares the blood that’s been spilled, the tears shed, the joys expressed. It takes a special kind of talent that, with little more than pen and paper, can lay a soul bare for all to see, feel, and know.

What I love about Queen’s poetry is the personal feelings invested in each piece. When she laments a loss, I feel that very same sense of loss. When her words speak angrily, I find myself picking at some scab of a past injustice done to me. Lines expressing joy infuse me with remembrances of what it means to be happy—truly happy. There isn’t an ounce of pretension in Queen’s writing, either. It’s all real and straight from the heart. The great ones know how to do this, to harness the heart as an instrument of creativity.

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One of my favorite Queen of Spades poems is entitled “Death Called Me” from the book Reflections of Soul:

Death called me
while Collective Souls devoured
my individuality.

Death called me
while Torment slit
my wrists of Comfort.

Death called me
while Sadness scorched
my eyelids of Happiness.

Death called me,
and now, I’m ready to go.

Because I’d rather be Death’s Concubine
than to continue being Life’s abused Wife.

There’s a dark resignation weaving its way throughout the piece that calls to mind some of the best works of Sylvia Plath. But Queen’s words lack the sting of hopelessness often felt in much of Plath’s work. Dark, sure, even resigned, but certainly never hopeless. Queen of Spades definitely has an eye on the future. And it’s most assuredly a bright future at that.

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Thanks to Beem Weeks for sharing and thanks to all of you for reading.

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Poet, short story writer, and aspiring novelist. This blog details my writing journey and everything in between: supporting other writers, doing a feature column and serving as editor-in-chief for All Authors Magazine Online.

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Posted in guest post, national poetry month

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