Written by Sabre Morris
In honor of National Poetry Month, I decided to sit down and talk with one of Colorado College’s own poets, sophomore Miles Lamar Lowe. The Quest Bridge Scholar has always been captivated by language and writing. He did not consider creative writing until his boring geometry class in high school sparked his imagination to write rap lyrics. But after feeling constricted by rap and its rhythmic nature, he began to discover other types of writing and became attracted to the idea of poetry.
The English-Creative Writing major began to work closely with a few experienced poets in his life to understand what writing poetry means. “My first poet that I really liked was Allen Ginsberg,” said Lowe. He also finds Walt Whitman, Frank O’ Hara, and Yusef Komunyakaa inspirational and meaningful writers.
Lowe considers several items crucial to the creation of a true poem. These include attention to form, concept of the poetic line, meter, and how the words sound against each other.
“A poet needs to be thinking about how their lines dance with their sentences,” Lowe said. “I think that a poet really should be aware that each word has tangibility and when you put them together it means something kind of like a dance.”
What have young poets written about recently? “I think part of going to college is figuring out what questions we have, because there are some questions that come up in our daily lives and we answer them extremely quickly,” he said. “But there are some questions that people have been trying to answer for a really long time and to figure out what those questions are and then center a lot of your poetry on those questions.”
Lowe is grateful for the classes offered at CC. Courses such as Introduction to Poetry have been thought-provoking and stimulating to Lowe as a writer.
“I feel like it allows my poetry to be less of an exercise and more of a function of my body,” he said. “To where I have to do this because there are these questions and I need to explore them within writing.”
Lowe also explained the physicality behind reading a poem.
“Poetry is about the shape your mouth makes, the shape your face makes, or the shape your body makes when you say something. When you hear it, it becomes real. While it’s still on the page, it’s kind of separate from you. When you read it aloud you have to partake in it. You have to be a part of it in some way.”
Lowe then went on to share one of his latest poems, “Vanity”, which eerily observes one’s facial characteristics and suddenly discovers the body is missing.
His primary struggle with writing poetry is starting and stopping. “I came to view poems as little stones that I put in my pocket and I carried around with me,” said Lowe. “And they were malleable. If I just carried it around enough and just rubbed it, it would make a little dent in it. I will sit down and write a poem, there it is. Then I need to go back to that poem and look at it the next day. Then I keep it with me so I can keep editing and editing it to polish it. And shaping it and forming it. At some point, the words seem inevitable and the words seem in place.”
Lowe does not see himself publishing any of his work in the near future. “I still feel like I have to grow as a poet inside before it goes outside,” he said. “I love showing my poetry to those who are interested and will give me feedback. It’s just like writing it down or text messaging or emailing it to them. Just sharing with people who want to hear about it.”
In the end, Lowe plans to continue to play and recreate the English language. “I think there are patterns within language and I want my poetry to explore those natural structures and I don’t want to be thinking about whether or not that structure is beautiful.”