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Words will win

Posted on Jun 1, 2015 by in Current events, Inspiration


I wrote this on 26 January 2015 for one of the poets who competed yesterday, inspiring me anew to take up my ‘pen’ last night after what has been something of a draught – a time when I wrote many words to people who matter, to whom they seemed to make little difference, instead of to myself as I have done since I was old enough to string together a coherent sentence. At a time when I have been feeling as though my words have so little effect, he helped me to remember that whether one heart hears you, or a thousand, it makes no difference. Whether people think us naive for believing in our personal power, belittle our efforts to rage against the dying of the light, or are moved deeply and laud us, none of that matters. Neither our greatness, nor our insignificance, because long after our bodies have passed on, this evidence of our minds will still live on in the ether, capable of making a difference long after we are gone. You said it in a different context yesterday, but it’s true: words will win. Thank you for helping me to remember that again. So this one, Kyle, is for you…

26 January 2015 @ 20:21

You don’t often get the chance to become acquainted with someone new and see them through the eyes of their closest family first as you start to get a sense of who they are. This is how I came to know one of Cape Town’s rising young poets, Kyle Louw – through the eyes of his brother, his mother and the interactions of a family that feels like home to an orphan, before I ever allowed myself to look at his work.

I am not a poet (except for rare instances), but I am a lover of words, an eternal student of literature and the singular and social power and expression of language in all its forms. I appreciate the art of poetry and today, the first time I read and listened to your work, you had me in tears. For good reason, because what you feel is pure and not watered down on the page or when you perform. I recognise that depth of feeling and knowing somewhat more than the average member of your audience about the journey it took for you to get here and the challenges you had to overcome, I know the value of encouragement. Never give up. Never surrender to circumstance.

Our scars are our great teachers and our gifts are how we are able to pass on what we’ve learnt and teach others. People feel that when you practice your craft even when they cannot put it into words and you only feel it in the silent roar of the audience’s hearts reaching out to you as you speak.

Not every day will be filled with rainbows, but when you let the light break through you like a prism the power of a rainbow rests in your hands and in your mouth. Wherever this road takes you, harness that power when you work. Instead of an all-consuming force let it drift through you like a tide and you will ride that wave to achieve heights you could never imagine…