That’s a rhetorical question by the way before all of you start saying yes, because I can’t write poetry for toffee.
I mean, sure, I like to mess about with fun poetry along the lines of “Roses are red, violets are blue, I don’t have a clue what to add as a third line, and you probably don’t too” but that isn’t real poetry is it?
Poetry is an art. When done incorrectly, it attracts the wrath of Allah and His Messenger due to its content, or to the time it wastes, or if it is accompanied with illicit actions or musical genres associated with evil etc.
But when done correctly, it is sweet honey.
Poetry can be an appreciation of the Divine. That can lead to acts of worship and an increase in our love for worship and an increase in our love for the One that we worship. There is no greater accolade than that.
Poetry can be an appreciation of the creation of the Divine. This can lead to acts of love and an increase in our love for love and an increase in our love for the one that we love. There is no greater appreciation than this from the loved one.
Poetry can be the transmission of knowledge. It teaches in a way where sometimes prose has struggled. The poet can often say what the scholar struggles to. And if we find a scholar-poet then he is the king of all.
Poetry can be the refutation that other responses just cannot reach. It can be the clarification, the commentary and it can be knowledge itself.
Poetry is a skill. Poetry is a weapon. Poetry is peace. Poetry is war.
Do you really appreciate the art of poetry? Or like me, do you appreciate it more because of the very fact that we have so little of it today?
The classic times have gone. For poetry to survive today means it has to be of exceptional quality and purity. The competition is big, and the competition is often nasty. Rap is poetry’s naughty little brother. Rhythmic pop songs are poetry’s evil dictator uncle.
Muslims need in our times more quality poetry from top quality poets who don’t sell out their style, values and most importantly, Islamic ethics.
I crave poetry and so should you. It is the revival of art, the revival of knowledge, and the revival of ideas. And if there’s anything Muslims must aim for in such miserable times, then it is the revival of art, knowledge and ideas!
Steve Coleman famously once said:
I want to hear a poem where ideas kiss similes so deeply that metaphors get jealous, where the subject matters so much that adjectives start holding pro-noun rallies at city hall.
I want to hear a poem, I want to feel a poem, I want to taste a poem. Give me your spot on the mike if you want to waste a poem.
Uff, what a shot.
I just want to second Steve. And so, I would love to hear some short impactive poetry on any subject you like posted in the comments below. The best one, gets a prize. Don’t ask about what the prize is because we are poets here and poets don’t ask about prizes. They ask, “Did you read my poem?”
Yalla. Give me what you got.