Profanity and Poetry
"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." - Mark Twain
As a modern poet and writer, I consider myself to be a product of the world that we live in. Sex, swearing, drugs, and violence. Not in that order. Don't forget the universe, higher-self, kindness, and gratitude.
Recently in a podcast, I was asked the question, what originally gave me the inspiration to write and post my work. I answered with "to help people". I stand by that firmly. Everyone talks about providing value to their audience. Along with a few other buzzwords but they are absolutely correct. I wanted to provide whoever read my writing with value; advice, motivation, resonance or something that makes them think and shake them into action, about their own emotions.
If you're unfamiliar with the type of poetry that I write, it's usually about the universe, wellness, health, love, sex, and romance. They are my fields of "expertise" or what I have lived through, up until the current stage in my life.
I write and I write often, usually, my writing contains swearing or "offensive language". Offensive to some but accepted to most. A fuck here, a shit there, and I use it to express myself because it's how I talk. It's actually how the world talks.
I'm not hiding behind a veil of falsehood, where we don't swear to communicate with one another or I consider it massively impolite to curse in the company of other people. I'm not using swearing as a tool to peacock or grab anyone's attention. Swearing has become an integral part of communication for almost every generation on the planet and it's also a part of who I am.
Recently I've been criticized about swearing in writing, or to be more precise, swearing in my poetry. As someone that has been writing unconventional poetry for a few years, I was dumbfounded by such a remark; that profanity has no place in poetry. It's an expressive art form that conveys a message. Providing that the message is clear and resonates with its audience, the method of communication and delivery should be irrelevant.
Some people romanticize words and believe that by adding profanity to poetry, it really desensitizes its impact on the mind and heart. I use the word fuck, in place of making love and sometimes, I don't always see the two as mutually exclusive. Poetry can be reflective of the day and age that we live in and that notion is resonating with a lot of audiences. That's why a lot of "Insta-poets" are doing incredibly well with reaching the masses with their work. Examples such as Rupi Kaur, Atticus and on the more risque side like mine, Michael Faudet.
Poetry is indeed an art form and it's also a method of communication. Akin to copywriting, reaching someone's heart and mind with alliterations, rhymes and a nominal amount of words is a skill in itself. That's why the most effective method should be used as possible.
Don't be afraid to swear and curse to express who you are. Don't fear society's perception of you because they value poetry to be a certain way. If you have a message—convey that message how you want to. If it reaches your audience and it resonates, then great and if it doesn't, then that's okay too. It wasn't for them.