A tribute to my nephew and Sarah Kay
” My little nephew left yesterday.
Carrying all my smiles and laughter in his miniature backpack.
I tried to fill my void with food.
I remained hungry.
I tried talking to people.
I ended up being even more lonely.
Then I read poetry.
My lips curled up in a smile. ”
These are the lines I penned down as soon as I finished reading the poetry book titled ‘ No matter the wreckage’ by Sarah Kay.
Sarah Kay writes, ” I will be exactly where I am supposed to be” in her poem “The Paradox”. I would love to extrapolate this idea to books and believe that a book will reach you exactly when it is supposed to! Sarah Kay revealed herself to me at that precise moment when I yearned for her the most! Sarah Kay has been writing and performing poetry since 14 years of age( She is 1988 born). Her book ‘ No matter the wreckage’ was published in 2014 and it took almost 3 years for that book to discover me! I am grateful to that friend of mine who sent me a link of Sarah’s celebrated Ted talk while I was groping in darkness. After mere 18 minutes of listening to her, I ended up watching most of her performance videos and bought the Kindle version of her book, ‘ No matter the wreckage’. I could sense my heart resonate in harmony with every single word I read in that book. Sarah Kay helped me find my way back home to myself!
Sarah Kay is a poet based in NewYork who teaches and propagates spoken poetry as an art form. As her website says, she is a photographer, film maker, writer, reader and much more. She conducts workshops on spoken poetry all over the world and has performed in six out of seven continents. Most of her famous poems are available on Youtube and I feel the time spend watching them is a worthy investment. Her words are magical, mixed with the right proportion of imagination and reason, sure to make an inevitable change in the way you perceive and think.
Sarah’s poems are not indignant and she writes about the so-called-mudane things in life, reminding you that these little things are the ones which matter most in life. Poetry need not be always written in undecipherable words and it is imprudent to believe that complicated words and labyrinthine plots are to be kept on lofty pedestals than simpler ones. Fyoder Dostoevsky rightly wondered, ‘But how could you live and have no story to tell?’. Seldom do we realise that every individual has a short and simple story to tell everyday single day.Each one of us has the prowess and extra ordinary power to tell a story in a unique way; a way in which no other person can. To tell this special story, there ought to be a medium easily accessible and convenient to all. For this matter, inspite of all limitations that it could have, Sarah believes that spoken word poetry is a medium of expression which can be experimented by common people.
Thus Sarah writes about her family, her inspiring first school teacher, her brother, her love and tries to see beauty in seemingly trivial things around her. Her poems are truly inspirational. Her words make you contemplate on the beauty and value of your life. When Sarah writes, ‘This world is made out of sugar: it can crumble so easily, but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it’, it becomes a message to somebody who is afraid to take a risk in life due to previous failures. She continues, “There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s swept away” reminding us to get up every time we fail. “No matter your wreckage, There will be someone to find you beautiful, despite the cruddy metal” serves as a hope in troubling times. Sometimes you need somebody like Sarah to tell you, ‘Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night’
Beauty of her imagination is evident when she writes,”The rain is a diligent mother who checks on us every few hours”
Sarah begins her poem, The Type, with these lines by Richard Siken: ‘Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.’ The Type is a poem every woman should read and recite.
“We spelled love G-I-V-E”, she writes in poem Private parts, equating loving with giving, expressing the highest form of love using a single word with four alphabets.
Sarah, like most poets, does not fail to write about her own death. How she envisions her own death in ‘In the event of any emergency’ and writes “If there is any music left, you can untie it from my throat. It was dying there anyway”, reveals the genius in her.
Sarah’s poems are a good start for anyone who has an aversion to poetry; thanks to the way poetry is taught in schools these days. I cannot guarantee that you will end up liking poetry for life. But I can assure you that you would end up encountering a better you.