The art of poetry predates literacy. According to the website, poetry.org, in preliterate societies, poetry was frequently employed as a means of recording oral history, storytelling, genealogy, law and other forms of expression or knowledge that modern societies might expect to be handled in prose. The Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic which includes poetry, was estimated to be written in the 3rd century BCE in a language described by historians as a language more perfect than Latin, more copious than Greek and more exquisitely refined than either. Poetry is also often closely identified with liturgy in these societies, as the formal nature of poetry makes it easier to remember priestly incantations or prophecies. The website states that a greater part of the world’s sacred scriptures are made up of poetry rather than prose.
Today poetry continues to have a profound effect on those who write it along with those who tune their ears to hear a poem or two.
For local poet and Tullahoma resident, Nells Wasilewski, poetry has been a part of her long before she even knew what it was.
“My mother said I was rhyming before I could read or write. I had a huge imagination. I’ve been writing all of my life in one way or the other,” she said.
Amazed by the number of locally talented poets, Wasilewski decided to create a group where poetry lovers could come to share, listen and create poetry.
Earlier this year, the first meeting of the Left to Write Poetry group was held.
“We’ve been meeting since May,” Wasilewski said. “I had always really thought about having a poetry group where people could meet of like minds and enjoy the art of poetry. I just decided I would start a group. I had people I knew. I started to email and invited them to meet.”
While newly formed, the group has already welcomed several talented poets and lovers of poetry and is looking to welcome as many as would like to come.
“If they just enjoy the craft, we’d love to have the come,” Wasilewski said. “Everybody wants their work to be heard. While sometimes one might write something for themselves, most of the time, anytime someone is writing something, it’s to share with others. We enjoy listening to each other’s works, helping where and when we can and reading some of own favorites. It’s a good group.”
The poetry group meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at First United Methodist Church in Tullahoma. Those who attend are asked to come in through the Lauderdale St. side of the church and to ring the doorbell if no one answers the door.
Contact Nells Wasilewski at 632-0399 for more information.