Greet Your Loved Ones through Poetry

Poetry contests often have a certain theme and the AVBOB Poetry Project is no different. Our contest focuses on healing, inspiration, understanding, saying what has not been said, expressing loss, and paying honour to loved ones.

If only we could turn back the clock for one moment to say what we never did. If only we could have another chance to celebrate the privilege of having the loved one in our lives. So many people experience these feelings since death is often so unexpected and there isn’t always time to say farewell.

However, through poetry contests we are able to give shape to the emotions, questions, and words in our hearts. We get a chance for inspired remembrance. Whether the poems are written months or years after the loss of a loved one or are freshly dipped in tears of loss, poetry provides a special music, and words can bring healing that crosses the boundaries of space and time.

“I will greet this day with love in my heart” – these words are by Og Mandino, from his book The Greatest Salesman in the World. Inspiring words reminding us that there is a time for everything. A time for joy, a time to love, a time to celebrate, a time to die, a time to mourn, and a time to remember. And, this might very well be your time to remember, to share, to love even though it hurts, and to inspire even though you are in need of inspiration.

Poetry contests focusing on themes of bereavement speaks to both the highly literate or award-winning poets, as well as the amateur poets, the new voices, because it touches on a universal human experience, and encourages sharing. In a country where many hurt, such contests help to bridge divides and bring unity. Loss does not discriminate, and death does not ask when would be a convenient time to visit. Quite often we are completely unprepared for the moment of loss. Even when we know that a loved one is near the end, we find ourselves at a loss for the right words to express what they meant to us.

Many of us are still in such shock and pain at the memorial or funeral of a loved one, even though we thought that we prepared for the day. Poetry contests are instrumental in creating a collection of poems that gives us the opportunity to finally articulate our grief and to remember our loved ones. Unlike any other form of literature, at the core of poetry is an economy of words, layering images with deep emotional connections which speak directly to our hearts.

We deal with the emotional trauma of loss on a daily basis. Poetry contests like this give grieving family members and friends the opportunity to share their innermost thoughts and feelings through the medium of words. We hope that the project will bring healing and inspiration to our nation and the many people who have had to say goodbye to loved ones all too soon.