Elizabeth TenHouten is a poet. Often writing about heartbreak, she stays true to her art as autobiographical. Her haunting words are deeply personal and reference everything from the birth to the death of a relationship. She composes her lyrical poetry with soul and opens up her world for the reader to observe, so they feel like they have a glimpse into her heart. Her poetry book, Broken Beating Heart is primed for an upcoming release.
What does poetry mean to you?
Poetry means expression at its finest. It’s the unveiling of a memory or a feeling with truth. It’s the bare, vulnerability that poets stand with that sets them apart from other types of writing, like fictional novels. For me, my poetry is autobiographical. I have rarely here or there written a poem from a person’s imagined point of view, but it is always based in some reality. It means a release of emotions. If I begin a poem in pain, I always feel lighter and free of the pain when the poem is finished.
What inspires your poetry?
Emotional pain inspires my poetry. I write from a place of sincerity and heartbreak. If I have my heart broken, the way I move past it is to write a poem. Sometimes more than one poem is dedicated to the same heartbreak! I have written up to 8 poems for the same heartache before, because sometimes one poem is just not enough. I have more to say. More to express. More to reveal. The poems tell me when my heart is healed and when there is nothing more to say, then it’s time to move past the broken heart.
Which are most important to you: (1) joy, (2) peace, (3) patience, (4) kindness, (5) self-control, (6) faithfulness, (7) gentleness, (8) love, or (9) goodness? If you can, explain why.
The most important to me are (4) Kindness, because without it there would be no love. So (8) Love, is also among the most important to me. I do not see a world worth living without it! And real love has kindness inside of it. (9) Goodness is also a necessary part of love, and therefore important. I care about what revolves around love, basically. So, (6) faithfulness is among the most important, as true love knows only faithfulness. Betrayal destroys love.
What sort of things are you looking forward to improving this year?
This year has been the year of Covid-19, so there is much to improve. I look forward to a way of improving the method of recording my music in the studio safely. In addition to being a poet, I am also a guitarist and a singer-songwriter, so getting back into the studio is a priority right now.
What is one big dream you have?
My one big dream right now is to have my upcoming poetry book, Broken Beating Heart, published. I have a publisher interested and I am presently working out the details with them. It’s very exciting.
white flower, bloodless,
in confusion, Lotus arises
in longing, illumination
expansion from the depths
of murky love. Alabaster hope,
bending petals take shelter
in the dark; it’s easy to stay.
with the wind in the open darkness,
white ribbons bend into a smile as brilliant as the star-studded sky above her.
There’s a glory in breathing,
in staying rooted
in a soggy sea, where wisdom
was born. To be found
beyond the reach of petals.
Everything is new:
breeze against a bendy, budding
blossom, wet petals chill,
Understand the sun:
all seed, the sun’s
embrace, what lesson?
You are found.
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