When I first got to know that this issue’s theme is poetry, the first thing that popped into my head was a YouTube channel I regularly follow, UnErase Poetry and the reason why I wanted to write about it was because UnErase Poetry was and will be one of the prime reasons I started writing. It was the year of 2017 and the YouTube algorithm luckily served me with what I feel is one of the best spoken word poetry videos out there, “A Brown Girl’s Guide To Gender” by Aranya Johar (trust me, I know it word by word). I remember my 9th-grade self getting fascinated by the concept of spoken word poetry and I had then “binged” multiple videos, mostly of the very same channel. Until then, I had never written or even had the thought of writing anything. Never had I given anything to be published in the school magazine or got over a 5 in a school essay question. These spoken word poetry videos inspired me to the core and made me google rhyming words so I could join them and make a 4-verse poem. If I ever get even the minutest recognition as a writer, I owe a part of it to UnErase.
The following year, I got the opportunity to apply for an internship at UnErase and they had asked if I could come for an interview but due to my boards and being too young, I couldn’t (if anyone at UnErase is reading this then don’t judge me by those emails, please). Anyway, I had then wished that someday I’ll get this opportunity again and hopefully I was old enough to go (hasn’t happened yet but umeed pe duniya kayam hai)
The point being that UnErase has encouraged me and several others to write & perform stories of our own. It has taught me that anything that gives you life can be penned down into a string of words resulting in an absolutely stunning piece. It has introduced me to poets who aren’t afraid of letting their voice heard, who probably also never wrote for school magazines or sucked at essays. It made me understand that no matter how big or small of a writer you are, there is an audience out there waiting for you.
For all you young poets & writers like me, as long as you are honest to your work and are willing to immerse yourself completely in a world of magic, you are going to be fine. We are going to be fine. You don’t have to write what everyone is writing about or you don’t have to search for rhyming words because poetry does not have a format. It’s okay if your poems are not filled with metaphors, hyperboles or onomatopoeia (I’m proud I spelt it right on the first go). It’s alright if it’s the simplest poem existing, it’s better than a blank sheet of paper.
ps: take a shot (of frooti if you’re underage) every time you read UnErase.