February 15, 2013

By request: a sampling of my poetry

There are sides to each of us that, even when we post so much about our lives publicly online, we may - whether intentionally or not - keep under close wraps or which have never had the chance to come up organically.

In some respects, the subject of today's both falls into both categories. Last December a comment was left on an edition of Flickr Favourites by a gal named Ashlee who wondered if I might share some of my poetry here on this site. As I've only mentioned - ever so briefly in passing once or twice (so briefly in fact that I can't even recall off hand which post, or posts, I might have done so in) - that I write poetry, I was touched that she remembered I'd said as much, and even more touched that she wanted to read some.

Without writing an essay War and Peace sized post on the history of my life, I feel that I should set the scene just a touch before sharing some of my poems with you.

To begin with, I'm not a professional or (formally) published poet, but I've never sought publication, so that pretty much explains that, now doesn't it? ;) I'd not be opposed to publication for the tiniest of moments, but for me writing has always been its own greatest reward, and something that's been an incredibly integral, and even vital part of my life quite literally since I learned my ABC's. I began writing poetry as a child, accelerating and honing those wordsmith skills as my youth progressed.

It was during those years - some the darkest, hardest, most painful of my life (believe me, I'm talking about far more than run of your mill teenage angst and drama here, but would prefer not to go into great detail about such things at this time) - that I turned heavily to poetry. I wrote through oceans of tears, when I was elated, when I didn't know if I could face another day, when just about all I had in the world was a pen and a notebook of lined paper.

I wrote and I healed. I wrote and grew, loved, learned, lost, found peace, reclaimed my soul, became stronger, triumphed over my aggressors, and stood to fight a whole new set of battles that life was waiting to throw at me as my teen years wrapped up. I believe with every last fiber of my being that poetry was my salvation then, and it is for that reason that my sole tattoo (near the inside of the elbow bend on my right arm) – done by a less than stellar, but technically professional, tattoo artist when I was seventeen - reads, in nothing more than classic black ink, "poet". Poetry saved me and in turn I - the poet - saved myself.

In the years since then I haven't written as heavily at all, nor has what I put down on paper (more often then not, I still prefer to write my poems down on paper first) always been as, how shall we put this delicately, heavy, as the pieces I wrote as a teenager, but they're no less meaningful, important or personal to me, and that may be part of the reason why, up until now, I've never really delved into the subject of my poetry here before.

I won't lie to you, my poetry - generally speaking - is considerably darker than the chipper tone which I generally write my blog posts in, but it wouldn't be being true to my own voice as a writer if I rummaged through all my poems searching for the most upbeat ones simply to keep the mood light as a feather. What I share here today with you then are four poems, written at various points over the past seven years, which I feel capture the spirit of my poetry.



And then there was silence

In the hour of a lifetime,
when a voice once present for eternity has vanished,
and despondence calls out in its place,
all sense becomes irretrievable.

Every tiny spat and misgiving ceases to exist,
in the breath of tragedy hangs only the beautiful and blameless.
Rests sorrow in the wake of calamity,
torrid, un-nameable emotions of bewildering intensity.  
Warm tears beget a frozen existence,
nothing soothes and all wounds.

Never are gone the gestures,
the rearing of your very being,
fondness ever-present intensifies with a momentousness that has no equal.                                                                            
For in the instance of absolute loss,
found is the love which will carry you on.



♥ ♥ ♥



Decrepit juvenescence


We are the young; these days, I know will, not last.                                                                                    
I see them fleet away like a reflection caught in a passerby's review mirror.                                            
Life, they say belongs to us, to those who are still wrinkle-less,
buried in worry,
but still fresh enough to pull of appearing carefree.

Hard bodies, sharp curves,
reluctant to come across as anything less than perfect.
In time we will look back wistfully, sighing and bemoaning over what we had,
never fully aware of it in the glistening moment.

Tomorrow may loom just a couple of breathes from our grasp,
but it is inconsequential to all but a few.
Those who lost their innocence – one way or anther,
taken or given, snatched or forgotten – before it ever had a chance to begin.
We are the young, but I am the old.


♥ ♥ ♥



When destiny intervened

The years flutter,
peppered with hardships that have strewn lines like fallen twigs across our souls.
We were those very beings that went atop a hill,
sipping from medieval goblets and presiding over rock star carpets.

The serenity and power of a secret,
long black eye lashes and nervous hands.
Should I tell you that I knew, that I have always been able to read you like a picture book.
No.
Everything is wonderful, impeccable and sublime exactly as it unfolded.

Under heavy, sleet gray stone walls and shimmering chandelier light you asked
and I replied the ultimate truth: yes.
Nothing can replace the feelings,
the euphoria and anticipation,
and nothing, my beloved, could ever take your place in my heart.


♥ ♥ ♥




To have and to behold


Should we lead or should we follow,
these days of turmoil where happiness
is as elusive to define as eternity itself.
In the breath of each others' souls
we find that every moment becomes bearable,
and every woe eventually a faded memory.


(All poetry © Jessica Cangiano)



♥ ♥ ♥



It is always sweet when a reader asks for something specifically, and whenever appropriate, and possible, I'm happy to honour such requests. Thank you very much, Ashlee, for wanting to see some of my poetry, that is an immensely lovely thing to be asked.




{Woman Writing at Table by Thomas Pollock Anshutz, oil on canvas, 1905.}



In many respects, my inner poet shines through in most of what I write here on Chronically Vintage. Just as poetry itself helped to get me through some very hellish years, so to does my blog writing serve as a continual catharsis when it comes to the chronic medical problems that consume so much of my daily life.


I know that so long as I draw breath on this earth, I will write, be it poetry, blog posts, letters, journaling, or anything else. I need to create the written word like I need oxygen to survive. And like air itself, my words go with me wherever I do, always ready to spring to life at a moment's notice and help keep me fighting the good fight, pen and paper never far from reach.

59 comments:

  1. The grace of your prose is amply displayed on your blog so your ability to write poetry does not come unexpected. Beautiful poems. And, as you note, writing can be a deeply therapeutic process for us. I'm glad it helped you get through tough times. Thanks for sharing these.

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  2. Wow! These are wonderful. I would definitely buy an anthology of your poems, I find them very moving.

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  3. Hello Jessica,

    I can't find the words to describe how touching and beautiful your poems are. They stirred my heart and my soul.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you deeply, Gemma. It was a pleasure to share this intimate, beloved side of my life with you today.

      ♥ Jessica

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  4. I commented, but I am not sure my comment went through (no acknowledgement by this page or anything) so, just in case...
    These are just beautiful poems, Jessica. Lovely. And I would love to hear more, maybe you can make it a new blog feature ;) Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Rachel. I'm touched to know you'd enjoy seeing more posts in the future.

      This is the only comment I receive from you (I approve all comments before they go live to ensure spam is weeded out). Blogger can have it's quirky moments for sure!

      Thank you again,
      ♥ Jessica

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  5. Lovely poems! I like poems that run on the dark side so no worries there. :)

    My husband got his master's degree in creative writing and poetry so I've lived through the heartbreak and elation of trying to get published. If you do pursue it, there are lots of different poetry contests out there which is a good place to begin. Just pick up any poetry magazine and look at all the ads. And don't take it personal if you get a rejection letter. :)

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    1. Hi sweet Betsy, thank you very much for your comment (I too generally prefer poetry that runs on the darker side) and for sharing about your husband's own poetry/creative writing path. I really appreciate your encouragement and will be sure to post here if I ever do submit some of my poetry anywhere and it gets published.

      ♥ Jessica

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  6. Wow. These, like you said, are dark, but very, very heartfelt and heavy with emotion that I feel that I can relate to, even on a small level. Your prose is beautiful and I greatly admire it.

    And getting published would be marvelous! I say go after it!

    I too understand having something you don't wish to discuss out in the open, but is also it being a part of who you are. I am glad that you came out of it, and I also admire the fact that it was you who brought yourself out of it.

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Janey, I'm touched to know that you found you could relate to my writing. That's beautiful. These are on the light side of the poems I pen (which, I'm the first to admit are much darker than my general cheerful spirit and the tone of my writing - perhaps I save expressing most of my heavier emotions for my poetry), but still convey a good overall sense of the kinds of pieces I generally write.

      Thank you again deeply,
      ♥ Jessica

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  7. These are beautiful poems. They show another side of you, yet the same side.
    Kathleen

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  8. I completely understand using a form of artistic creation as a way to heal ... to move forward ... to live ... to become stronger. My drug of choice was intricate drawing and painting. I'm a colorist at heart and nothing sets my soul free like a brush to a delicious cobalt or crimson. Your poetry is how your soul paints life with words and it's quite beautiful. Deep and dark and utterly fabulous.

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  9. These poems really touched me. Thank you for sharing them with us. They are beautifully written by a beautiful lady! :-)

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  10. Beautiful writing Jessica - thank you so much darling for sharing these precious poems with us. I love writing and find its a way for me to express myself, when sometimes I find it difficult to express myself in other ways.

    Katy
    xox

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  11. I can in every way understand how poetry helped you heal. It did for me too-well writing in general. I began journaling at the age of nine and began writing poetry at the age of fourteen. I stopped around when I was twenty-two or so but I there is def more in me. Thank you for sharing this personal and private part of yourself and of your heart. What a blessing!! xox

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  12. Thank you for sharing these, lovely lady! They are articulate, provocative of rich, deep thought and feeling.

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  13. Love them all, when I was young and angry I would write some poems but songs mainly, which is a form of poetry. I love how pouring out your emotions onto a piece of paper helped you through those tough times. I myself don't write anymore, but I need to start up again. I have 5 short young adult fiction stories I have written that I want to publish one day. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. How wonderful that you used to write songs sometimes (I've written a few over the years, too) - they are definitely a form of poetry. I truly wish you the utmost of success in getting published if you pursue that route. I'm sure your writing is terrific, sweet Trina.

      ♥ Jessica

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  14. Such profound beauty and deep feeling here, Jessica. I love these poems. They moved me to tears. You definitely have a way with your thoughts and words...

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    1. Mary, thank you deeply. I was thinking of you - knowing how very fond of poetry you are - as I was putting this post together, and am truly touched to know how moved you were my writing.

      Sweetest thanks,
      ♥ Jessica

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  15. These are all very complex, insightful, thought provoking poems. They take on a depth that is sometimes hard to portray in a blog post. I like the many questions they leave unanswered and also the thoughts into how you are feeling at a particular moment in time. I find myself wondering at what point in time you wrote some of these poems. I also like how personal yet universal these poems can be. As I see more wrinkles appearing, I think about those moments of youth from only five years ago. It's kind of a battle too as I would to know more insights into the meaning but at the same time the mystery also breeds thought.
    Lovely! I'm going to study them more when I get some time:)

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    1. Dear Joanna, thank you very much for your thoughtful, lovely comment. You are always welcome ask me about more of the back story behind these poems (or anything I write), if you'd like, my sweet friend.

      ♥ Jessica

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  16. Jessica, your poetry resonates with me. I have a feeling our younger days were all too similar. You are a beautifully talented writer and without a doubt the loveliest blogger I have "met" on the internet. You have inspired me. I so often feel like being positive and upbeat (especially on my blog) is in some way a sham, that I should be sharing the "real me". This post made me realise they are both the real me. I can be positive and fun, without pretending the pain from the past didn't exist or that living with a chronic illness is not filled with miserable days. Keep being fabulous and thank you.

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    1. Thank you very much, my dear lady. I like to imagine we share much in common, both in the past and today (certainly we have a mutual adoration of all things vintage, but I sense there's more than that as well).

      Absolutely, you can have both a upbeat and a more somber side. I'm a very happy, chipper and optimistic person, but that doesn't mean I'm pollyanna-ish about life or that I've never had moments where my emotions were as dark as a moonless night (I certainly have!). Never feel like you need to hide one or the other side (or any side, for that matter) of yourself from the world, be it on your blog or elsewhere. You are who you - emotions, good days and bad, pain and all - and that is a unique, wonderful, and very inspiring thing.

      ♥ Jessica

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  17. Awwww I honestly have wrote a few during my dark period as well, and I even shared them through a website at one point (how embarrassing!). I love that the written words can be so powerful and so healing sometimes. And honestly I am glad that you're doing really well now and hopefully will continue being an inspiring vintage lady :)

    Nora
    NoraFinds

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  18. I think something went wrong with my previous comment. So here's another try:

    Jessica, you are such a talented writer. Not only your blogposts but also these poems are beautiful! I wish I could write like you! Thank you for sharing these poems!

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    1. Thank you very much, dearest Anthea. I think you're a great writer. I always really enjoy your posts and writing style.


      ♥ Jessica

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  19. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all. It's just further proof -- not that we needed it -- of how genuine you are. Light or dark, cheery or solemn, that's the key thing that connects your writing together, and is ultimately why I enjoy your blog so much.

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  20. Reading poetry in foreign language isn't easy, but as far as I understand, your poems are pretty good!
    And I really appreciate that you decided to share your poetry with us! I love writing too, I used to write poetry as a teenager and I know how hard is to show your poems to a strangers. When you show your poetry to someone, you're showing also your very inner self. Thank you so much for letting us read this! :)

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  21. I didn't realize that you wrote poetry. Your writing is very professional and deep. It makes my poetry look quite childlike, indeed! :( But, I truly enjoyed reading these pieces. The second poem was my favorite. I hope you will share some more of your poetry more often as the spirit moves you to do so.

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with writing "dark" poetry. I do as well.

    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you very much, my dear. It's not your fault for not realizing that I wrote poetry, for all intents, it's not something I've ever opted to discuss here on this blog before. I'm sure your writing is great. We tend to be much harsher critics of our own work than other people would be on it. Moreover, writing should be for yourself first and foremost, so your poems matter to you, they are wonderful in and of themselves simply on that merit alone.

      ♥ Jessica

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  22. I enjoyed your poems, Jessica.
    I used to write poetry too, Jessica. I haven't for many years, but when I look back and re-read it, it does have an angst-y, dark feel.
    Thanks for sharing this, Jessica.

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  23. I'm not at all surprised that you're a wonderful poet, as your blog posts are always so full of thoughtful wording and beautiful phrases. I'm also a writer and if someone ever found my writings they would be sure I was the most melancholy person who's ever lived, even though I'm generally pretty happy now. My brother started writing poetry last year and shared some with me and I was blown away to find this person who is so fun and silly has some of the same sad, difficult thoughts and feelings I do - it really helped me to become closer to him. It's genuinely neat to find commonalities with people where you didn't know they existed.

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  24. reading your poetry was really like a wonderful journey to your deepest inner self darling. I somehow can totally feel what you wrote, its amazing which power you can get from writing down your feelings and how it is able to cure your soul in dark hours of your life...You definitely should keep creating art with the written word!
    love and kiss,mary

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  25. oh. wow. thanks for sharing a little bit of your poetry work here. it's fabulous. i really enjoyed reading it. if it's about poetry i always prefer the dark(er) side.

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  26. Thank uou for sharing something so terribly precise and personal with us. Poetry is like a window into someone soul, their dreams, fears, their passiona and the hopes....so nice to peep into all of yours sweet Jessica. xx Shauna

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  27. My dearest Jessica, look at this site. There you'll find a wall of gloves. Maybe you'll be interested in that.
    http://www.ashleyording.com/search?updated-max=2013-01-16T04:08:00-08:00&max-results=6

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    1. Awww, thank you very much for thinking of me and sharing that cool link, sweet dear. I am completely intrigued by that amazing wall of gloves! I wonder how they're being held in place so that the gloves don't become damaged at all. Small clothes pegs might be one explanation, but I can't see any obvious signs of them in that shot.

      ♥ Jessica

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  28. Yay, this is Ashlee again! Thank you for sharing, it's really touching to make a request and have it followed up on. Your poems are lovely!

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    1. Hi Ashlee, I was really hoping you'd see this post. Thank you very much for your lovely words and again for the request to see some of my poetry. It sincerely meant a lot to me, as did getting to share this very important side of my soul with my wonderful blog readers.

      ♥ Jessica

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  29. Simply beautiful poetry, my gal. I myself write songs and love to sing, as I have been through much more than most my age, or even double my age, so I've had a lot to get off my chest and write about. Writing is extremely cathartic to me, and singing just lets me express it even more. I could not have gotten through it all without music in every and any way. It's an art as well as an expression. You write beautiful poetry - I tend to notice that people who have been through the most have the most to say and have beautiful souls and express themselves in a wonderful way. I can certainly see that with you - when you write, you have a certain poetry in every one of your posts. We are old souls, feeling like we have lived more than most our age - I think that's why we love vintage so much :-)

    -Holly
    Veronica Vintage

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    1. Excellently and very eloquently said, dear Holly. I completely believe that for some, having an old soul can directly equate to our love of the past.

      Thank you very much for your beautiful comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  30. Beautiful, Jessica. Just beautiful. The first two resinate with my youth too, when things were a lot darker. Luckily, I can now read things like this and remember that pain because it is no longer heavy on me. Thank you for posting these poems.
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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  31. Your poems are so beautifully thoughtful and heartfelt. I especially liked "And then there was silence". There's really nothing quite like writing poetry when you're going through something difficult or trying to get past something and can make all the difference to get something down on paper in verse form. I'm glad you chose to share some of your poems with us, sweet lady!

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    1. Thank you very much, my dear friend. I completely agree, I've never found any solitary activity that can help me work through a painful/difficult period in my life quite like writing poetry can. Other creative outlets come close, but again, poetry is a soothing, reflective, wonderful force of serenity unto itself.

      ♥ Jessica

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  32. Your poetry is beautifully written and has touched me deeply. It's like seeing an intimate glimpse into your soul. You are truly gifted my friend.

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    1. Thank you deeply, my dear friend.

      ♥ Jessica

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  33. Beautiful poems! Thanks for sharing with us! Through writing you can really pour out your heart and also get some kind of comfort.

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  34. "The breath of each others' souls...."

    What a beautiful, amazing, heartfelt phrase.... It was my favorite line among your three poems.

    Thank you for sharing your work with us. I takes a lot of courage to do so; poetry in particular is very intimate and close to the heart. You write beautifully!

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    1. Thank you very much, my dear friend, for your immensely kind words. I'm so touched that you shared your favourite line from amongst these poems with me.

      ♥ Jessica

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  35. Wonderful! You are definitely talented. Thanks for sharing!

    Ivy

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  36. Jessica, I finally am getting caught up and read this post, wow, how beautiful! I should have known by your posts that you were a poet, as I have been very impressed with how beautifully descriptive they are. Now I read your poems and I am in awe of your talent. They should be published and hopefully however that is done they will be. Which makes me think of this song children sing at church, "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, don't hide it under a bushel, no, I'm gonna let it shine" God truly wants us to share our talents as they enrich others lives and puts more lovliness in the world. Thanks for sharing your lovely words :)

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    1. You are all together too kind, my dear, thank you deeply for your beautiful comment and encouraging words.

      ♥ Jessica

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  37. Your poetry is very good indeed Jessica, though that doesn't surprise me as you obviously have a talent for writing. I always find it hard to talk about poetry as I don't read a lot of it, but as you and others have said here, song lyrics and poetry aren't so different from each other, and I can easily relate to many many song lyrics, so I think I read poetry more from that point of view. I agree also that our happier side and our darker side are both part of us, so don't worry that you are being too dark here.
    I've been reading my way back through your posts and thoroughly enjoying them. Reading them all in one go made me realise how many different subjects you write about, as well as vintage fashion I've learnt about the Greeks and the production of maple syrup. Also how tiny you are! I'm very envious of your tiny waist and feet. Hope you have a lovely day Jessica. xx

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    1. Thank you very much, my sweet dear. That's immensely kind of you to say. Though the underlying current of this site is, and will always be, vintage related subjects, I'm far too eclectic a soul not to write about other topics, weaving them more often than not back to my love of vintage, here as well.

      Thank you again - not only for this lovely comment, but for the others you left me today as well.

      ♥ Jessica

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  38. Replies
    1. Thank you deeply, Grace. That means all the more to me coming from a fellow writer. Do you dabble in poetry yourself, too?

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. I've "dabbled," and the results really aren't fit to print for the most part. :-P Maybe one day I'll put some poems up on my blog. I've also written some songs, which have come out about as well as the poems. :-P I think I'll stick to blog posts and novels. ;-)

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    3. I'm sure they're fantastic and happily look forward to reading any that you may opt to share with us. I was really into writing songs in my early teen years. Doing so was entirely for fun, I didn't have music industry aspirations, and I think just a natural extension of my passion for poetry.

      Have a fantastic Friday,
      ♥ Jessica

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