Caleb Femi is a Poet who has teamed up with global coffee roaster Julius Meinl to launch their annual Meet With A Poem initiative ahead of World Coffee Day on 1st October. The new campaign hopes to provide an opportunity for people to hit pause and reconnect with the important things in life. The brand is partnering with cafes, restaurants and hotels to encourage people to meet up and use poetry as a departure from the everyday. So, we caught up with Caleb to ask him how poetry helps him to express himself and his feelings.
It gives me a voice to say the unsaid things
Poetry is one of the purest forms of conversation as it allows us to communicate from an honest and safe place without fear, regret or anguish, which is a very powerful and liberating feeling. The reason why I started writing poetry was because I needed a space that allowed me to talk about things that scared me, that intrigued me,. The important things are usually the things left unsaid and poetry gives me the courage to say those things.
It helps me connect with others
One day our lecturer asked us to read our own poetry on stage in front of our peers. I am not sure if it was my poem or my reading, but after that moment I felt so connected with the people in that room. What I learnt from this is that poetry connects you with others. This is why I love poetry.
It channels my feelings into words
Ever since I was young I have always loved words. I would listen to music lyrics on repeat, and be captured by what was being said, rather than the beat. I use poetry to tap into my emotions and memories to create something beautiful.
It makes way for honest communication
Poetry allows anyone to communicate honestly and freely – peoples inner most thoughts can be heard through poetry! When we use poetry to communicate how we truly feel, we are also encouraging others to listen. A world where every voice is heard – isn’t that a beautiful thing?
It inspires me to action change, or change in others
I will often use my poetry to send subliminal messages to people to help them make sense of the world, their place in it and hopefully to affect positive change.
It allows me to express love
I have a fond memory of when I was at a poetry reading, reciting a poem about someone important to me. The poem was a reflection on how I felt in one brief moment when I held her hand for the first time. Within that reading, I was able to capture in words what I wanted to tell her that day, but didn’t. What I didn’t realise, was that she was in the crowd listening to my poem. She found me afterwards and said that she remembered that moment well too and all this time she was unsure how I felt. This is one example, of many, of how poetry can be used to say the unsaid things.
It makes me search for the poetry in the everyday
Being a poet makes me view the world in a way which is unique to my craft. With every situation I’m faced with – good or bad – I search for the poetry within it. I’m constantly scribbling down verses and rhymes taken from these situations, which helps me express myself in that moment.
It gives a platform to talk about insecurities
The written word has a level of anonymity about it. On paper, you can write you deepest insecurities, and somehow it just doesn’t feel as scary, and seeing the words in front of you gives a level of comfort.
It allows me to express myself wherever and whenever
We live in an era that no-one in the history of humanity has ever seen before. No-one has ever lived the way we have lived. Poetry is the thing that allows you to say things you couldn’t say whenever you like. In this new age of media, we’re communicating in a new and totally different, interesting way, and poetry is evolving to this.
It allows me to let go and have fun!
We’re all aware of the sombre, serious elements of life and how poetry can help that, but there is another side of poetry, that’s lighter and more jubilant. Increasingly, I think there needs to be some lighter entry points to poetry – after all, it really should be fun!