Why is it that some writers say one cannot be a poet unless one has known pain and brokenness? To draw on one’s own life for a creative thought only is a lack of imagination ad creative thought.
I have two degrees in psychology. If I wanted to, I could write poetry drawn from from the clients who sat in my office, lived in the recovery house I co-parented, those who slipped and phoned me and I drove to the gutter to talk to me. I could write about the attempted suicides, the meltdowns, the mismanagement when I swore at my superiors because basic maintenance was not kept up at the recovery house, and we had to wash dishes in the shower room.
So many stories, as well as my own trauma and pain and well defended personaliy. I did not know who I was.
But poetry is making word photograph. From the street, a face in a window, two people sat on a bench, a scene at a market, an encounter with a waiter , a night at the opera, memories from school, or a date, the magic of your child.
We don’t need to have been destroyed to be a poet. We just need to hear the muse, see the evening differently, see life from a different angle, be very observant and listening. That is what a poet is together with a love of words, a love of illiteration, word play and succinctness.