How I Write Poems

In my spare time (or for an assignment), I tend to write poems. I’ve written little stories for many years now but I started writing poems when I was in my sophomore year of high school. Why then, you may ask? Well it wasn’t for any English or writing class. No, I wrote as a purging of my emotions during a time when waking up everyday became a little harder. 

Most of the poems I wrote at that time were destroyed or lost. I cried when my phone died with them. I couldn’t care less about everything else on my phone except my writings. But ever since that little sad occasion, I’ve been writing more and more. Last fall, I became a poet for my college newspaper, The Manhattan Globe. When I took up this task, I wasn’t very confident in my writing, however I have gotten so much practice from this. I’ve received so much positive feedback from it and it has warmed my heart so much.

Now the substance for my poems is almost the same for how I write short stories but a little more personal. Not to be cliche but my poems are truly from my heart so they take a little more time to carefully craft. The first thing I do is recall a memory from my past or something present. Honestly, writing somber poetry is more enjoyable for me.

Click the image to see the short film on Instagram!

However there was one time recently I wrote a poem and I was trying to immerse myself in those days of my bitter high school years. The memory I recalled was too painful that I immediately had flashbacks and I was panicking for the whole day afterwards. I wrote a poem from that experience of recalling things which was not planned initially.

I just think for me, poems come out randomly. I was writing a poem early in the year so that I would keep my mind off something but I was so furious that it just split into a short story of the yearnings of my heart.

But wherever the poem’s origin arrives from, then I have to structure it. I usually pretend it is like a song so I can format it right. The grammar of my poems vary slightly but I love searching for new words. If there was one thing I loved to do when I was younger and still today is read and search for unusual words. One other element I like to use is alliteration.

So while I’m struggling with a story I want to tell and formatting it, I usually play music. It’s not pop music or anything mainstream, it’s sad and creepy lofi music. I think that’s what really helps me get into the mood of writing. It takes me a few hours to craft a poem but sometimes it takes days just to find the right word.

Poetry is always fun to task yourself with.

Its short and sound quality make it swift 

To read but time to clasp. 

Whether it is from the heart or soul,

There is always a story waiting to be told.

However you may mold and behold it,

Let it bloom for all to grasp.

There is a story that needs to be told,

You may think it nothing but it may be gold…

The Power of Film and Writing

These weeks of quarantine have been rough for me as a film student. Most of the time, I’m taking care of my family and then I have my classes. In all the time in between, I have no motivation as I’m just tired and fatigued. I was so exhausted that I did not realize an important day come and go. 

That day was March 26. Now you may be wondering “well ok, who cares?” And honestly the day doesn’t have to matter, it’s something that I’ve always kept to myself until now. March 26, 2013 was the day I decided that I was going to live. I think I’m pretty dramatic at times but in this case I was serious. Life really sucked then. It was the first time I ever saw death and at the same time I was being coerced by my peers in some weird drama. With both events happening at the same time, I became extremely depressed and those were the darkest moments of my life. 

I don’t know how it happened that day, but I was watching some films and it was the first time I was able to purge all my bottled up emotions and cry for the first time. Not even in the funeral was able to cry and I was right in the front of the entire wake, mass, and burial. In that year, I did not have something to turn to so film became my comfort. It was that day I realized the power of film. 

Now I’m not saying that watching films cured my depression because it did not. I’m saying that it was a great help in me coming out of that darkness. I was able to see some hope in the stories and characters portrayed. Looking back, it was great that I made that decision that day because a few months later, life just went downhill completely for nearly 3 years. 

I held in my heart that I would study filmmaking. If film changed my life and gave me some motivation to live then I would give back and hopefully do the same for others. That was true then and it still is now. From that point on, I began writing seriously.

When I started the horrors of my unusual high school years, I would write almost every single day developing stories. Besides writing in school, I would write in bed through the night and in church. I always carried a little notebook with me everywhere which has now been replaced with the notes app on my phone. The compilation of stories of those three years are some of the darkest, horrifying and most painful stories I’ve come up with. Even now looking back, I’m scared of it.

It was a weird process in that time. I would write stories to try to escape my painful reality and in turn I have content for films of all sorts. Now when I develop stories and even poems, I sometimes try to go back to that mindset of those 3 years to help me. It does help but unfortunately it takes a toll on my mental wellbeing because it was a traumatic time.

Click the image to see the short film on Instagram!

Even though I have developed my story style because of what I went through, I still have trouble seeing the good in those moments. But anyway, films are an art and sometimes a very powerful art. It helped me get through some dark moments and in turn I was able to write stories. I would say pick up a pen (or the notes app) and just start writing. Even if you are battling the toughest moments, I promise you, it can help and you may be able to have a film script bloom from it.