College Essay: The Power of Poetry

Ahlani Thomas
Ahlani Thomas

I was never a big fan of sitting down for hours and reading pages with words on them. That was until my middle school counselor introduced to poetry books. I was one of those people who took people’s recommendations and tested them out for myself. The first book she gave me was “Whiskey Words and a Shovel,” by R.H Sin, believing that it would relate deeply to the challenges I was facing during my sixth-grade year. 

At that time, I was struggling with unhealthy relationships. I was always the one being ignored or left out by the people I thought were my “friends,” I found myself allowing them to damage my self-confidence. I put others before myself, surrounding myself with relationships that made me feel small and insecure. With poetry, I was able to realize I deserved better than what I was receiving. R.H Sin’s poetry made me realize the way I was being treated in those relationships and the way that I was letting those people control me was wrong. With the tips of my fingers, I was able to find the strength in myself to walk away from the damaging ways of the unhealthy relationships I was holding onto. Through this newfound strength, I was able to distance myself and understand my true self-worth.  

I was able to free myself from the chains of those people’s actions. With poetry I became more self-confident, I distanced myself completely from those who treated me wrong. I knew how I deserved to be treated, how I should feel when in any relationship, how I should feel about myself and that was all that mattered. In his book, there was a poem that stood out to me because of how straightforward it was about waiting for people to treat you correctly in a relationship.  

“When it’s done, it’s done.  

Walk away. 

Stop waiting for flowers to grow out of concrete. 

Stop searching for something that’ll never be there.” | Author: R.H Sin

In middle school, the whole friendships and relationships concept was new to me. I never had relationships with anyone other than my family. These family relationships were perfect examples of what healthy relationships should be like, yet they were also negatively affected by the outside relationships I was learning to let go of. Even though I didn’t ask anyone close to me for advice, I now know that I can go to my family for support as well as use poetry as a resource for different situations. Through enjoying poetry, I realized I was not only learning about personal relationships but about myself.  

I’m a sophomore in high school, and I still find myself going to R.H Sin’s poems for reminders, support and guidance. Ever since reading his books, I no longer find myself feeling alone or confused with my feelings. I avoid making the mistakes I made back in middle school, and have a better understanding of how to deal with a variety of situations. I’ve loved poetry ever since I was introduced to it and see it as more than a creative outlet: It is my passion.  

Without poetry and R.H Sin’s words, I don’t think I would have a positive mindset and lessons I have now. Without poetry, I would lack the self-love that I’ve learned to have and believe that I would be constantly stuck in unhealthy relationships that would harm me mentally and emotionally. In the future, I hope using the inspiration and experiences I gained to create a poetry book that many other young people can relate to and use for guidance. I also hope that young people who go through similar experiences like mine, turn to my poetry books in the future just like I turned to R.H Sins for guidance.