“A PREJUDICE AGAINST ALL POETS”

“Don’t be fooled by poets!” I remember what they used to tell me. “They’re such sooth-sayers that will lure you with their sweet-nothings.”

I was still a teenager back then. Just like many girls during that era, I was crazy about male musicians, especially those who’d sing love songs.

What if I considered them good-looking too? Well, I was (and still am) no hypocrite. I consider that factor a bonus point.

I admit that those had also been my (acutely) gullible days. I mean, who doesn’t love sweet words? Who doesn’t like compliments and some other assurances that…yes, you do matter and you are loved.

Then, what had changed me for quite some time?

First of all, I’d let my faith, enthusiasm, and positivity be ‘killed off’ by some people around me. I understood that they’d only meant well. They wanted me not to be blindsided by some rose-coloured window glass.

Still, their bitter words had dampened my spirit for a very, very long time:

“Anyone can tell you sweet words, then walk off once they get what they want from you. You’ve got to be smart dealing with them.”

For a while, I did what they’d asked of me. I questioned a lot. I’d gone critical – almost cynical. They were right; I’d been safe. I’d successfully built up thick, strong and high walls around me. They’d been my fortress for so long.

I was safe, because I was also alone. I’d made sure nobody got too close to woo and hurt me in the end.

Ironically, I also write poetry.

So, what went wrong here? Because I listened to them, I’d gone prejudiced towards all other poets. Besides, not all poems are about love.

Having spent some time with poets (and those who love poetry) for the past two and a half years has taught me a valuable lesson:

Not all poets are as bad as they’ve been described. (Common cynics, I hope you’re reading this!) Not all poems are about cheesy love and heartbreak. (Even if some are, so what? At least it’s still a harmless way to express yourself.)

To some people, poetry is a self-healing therapy. I’m one to agree.

My point is, there’s nothing wrong if you still want to believe that people still mean every sweet word they say, poets or not. You’re not being gullible or stupid for doing that.

You just want to stay positive. The thing is, no matter how careful you try to be, anything can still happen.

What happens if you’re still fooled?

The whole world (especially those who refuse to understand and think they know it all) will judge you. This is why you only trust a selected few.

There’s always that risk in letting people in. Sometimes you have to be ready for the outcome, whatever it is.

Like I’ve said, anything can still happen.

R.

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