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The Groove - The power of poetry
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“Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private." 

– Allen Ginsberg

I’m one of those individuals who has a passion for both reading and writing poetry. I’ve always been drawn to the Beatniks. Beat poetry became popular in the 1950s and into the '60s. In my opinion, this movement contained some of the most prolific American authors, who created a whole new style of writing which deviated from the pretty, little rhythmic lines most considered how poetry should look and sound.

Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski are some of my favorites who pushed the boundaries and ventured into uncharted territories. The Beats touched on topics which were taboo, but desperately needed to be addressed at the time, and in the present. 

With stinging truths and unapologetic words, the Beats rejected societal norms and materialism, pushed back against the economic and political machines, wrote with emotion instead of structure, searched for a deeper meaning in the human condition and delved into spiritualism and exploration into the aspects of what makes up the very being of who we are. What are we doing other than existing and why?

The staunchly conservative publishing industry opened its doors when the Beat Generation came along to allow everyone to use their voice in openly expressing their feelings on all kinds of subject matters. One of the many beautiful aspects of poetry is the fact your personal being, mind, thoughts, loves, fears and emotions are OK. There is no wrong way to express the many depths of you. 

Thanks to the Beatniks, the regulations on what is able to be published, whether those thoughts are conservative, liberal, orthodox, unconventional or antiestablishment, are free game, as they should be. It’s impossible to try to fit the vast distinctions of beliefs into a single box. Differences are one of the greatest gifts we have to show us the unmeasurable amount of unique qualities and emotions we’re each made up of.

I also enjoy reading the unwavering strength and fearless writings of female poets, including Sylvia Plath, who captured the empty hole of depression beautifully, Anaïs Nin, who spoke of being a female in a powerful and raw form, electrifying the feminist movement while also describing the aspects of both gentle and fierce loves. 

Let’s also not forgot the poetry in music, which is what draws me to the majority of the songs I’ve embedded in my heart. Although the instrumentalism brings chills and tears to my eyes, the lyrics are what I repeat in my head, and what I scream or whisper to myself during the times those words are deserved and needed. 

If you have any favorite poets, diarists, essayists, novelists or writers, please feel free to send me an email at anorthcutt@southernstandard.com. I’m always looking for more strong words to weave into my heart.  

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.