Writing Tip: Be A Witness

Photo 18We are all witnesses. Some of our lives may not be all that dramatic, but we have stories to tell of the things we have seen and heard. Poets not only delve deep into their souls and write about the madness that keeps them sane, but they can also use the senses to make an audience aware of particular moments. Poets can also be historians by recording trivial times and important events into their work.

With unlimited access to current events in the world, poets have the ability to express their point of view on social issues, as poets like Langston Hughes and Pablo Neruda did in their time. Hughes, a social activist as well, wrote about life from his point of view as a black man in America. Neruda, heavily involved in the politics of his country, Chile, not only wrote about love but the desire for social change as wars were brewing.

Democracy - Hughes

Democracy by Langston Hughes Americanpoems.com

Poets can also write from personal events. Our experiences with domestic abuse, divorce, being in a foster home, being bullied at school, losing a job or a death in the family, can not only be therapeutic to write about but record times in our life we want to forget. However, revisiting those moments and sharing them with the world can help another soul who is dealing with a similar issue and not know how to cope. To show them how you were able to move on and strive, can possibly change another’s life. That is the power of poetry.

I always advise poets to keep a journal or notebook everywhere: on a nightstand, in your car, at your desk and even in your purse or pocket. We witness everyday while following our daily routines, and you never know when something you see or hear will be significant enough to inspire you to write.

Written by: Donna J. Sanders

Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia – a poetry collection about the struggles we face, the state of the world and how to see beauty in the simplest things.

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Photo Credit: © Donna J. Sanders

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  1. Writing Tip: Be A Witness | TheRaven6825

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