Poetry is an avenue for people to express their thoughts through words.

English literature student, Jeffrey D. Graessley is a 30 year-old senior who has quite a bit of his work published.

“I feel like it is an expression of oneself, one’s culture and one’s history,” Graessley said. “It’s a means of recording what is viewable and what we keep hidden from the world.”

He aspires to have poetry remain a part of his life, and has plans to seek out a Masters in Fine Arts after his time here at CPP.

Professor John Brantingham at Mt. SAC had a big impact on Graessley’s journey in poetry.

His class had challenged Graessley and his classmates to write a type of poetry that is essentially art about art.

Graessley and his classmates would go to art museums and discuss what they saw.

Then they wrote poetry about it and later created a manuscript that was quickly published in LA.

His featured poem is a dedication to the art piece by Edgar Degas, “Woman Combing Her Hair Before a Mirror.”

(Courtesy of Jeffrey D. Graessley)

“I feel like Degas is such an important part of art in general for me,” Graessley said. “Whenever I encounter a Degas painting I try to put myself in the person’s shoes that is being depicted.”

Graessley became invested in poetry about eight years ago.

Charles Bukowski’s work was a huge inspiration and had a prominent impact on his poetry.

It was actually longer narratives that Graessley was more interested in before getting into poetry but that quickly changed. He admired the instant gratification you can get in a short poem.

Throughout his poetry pieces his voice and tone prominently express who he is.

“I feel like we all encounter our voice and discover what it is in a unique way and it’s hard to really question it,” Graessley said. “Meaning there is a natural propensity when we walk to have our feet apart a certain distance and to change my voice in poetry would be to change my gait in walking.”

Another poet who walks among us is a fourth-year marketing student, Christine L. Lac.

This 22 year-old has been writing poetry for a while but got more involved this last year.

“Poetry to me is a form of self-expression,” Lac said. “I feel like a lot of people push their feelings down and poetry is a way to condense it and really let it out.

Lac was inspired by poet R.H. Sin because of how concise and to the point he is, which makes it easy to understand what he is talking about.

(Courtesy of Christine L. Lac)

Growing up, she was also inspired by Shel Silverstein.

She aspires for her writing tone to be to the point and transparent.

“I don’t want you to read in between the lines,” Lac said. “I want you to know what I am talking about and take it for what it is and not analyze it so much.”

Lac aspires to have poetry as an important part of her life allowing for fun and creativity.

Her selected piece “Youth” was written in about three hours during a time in her life when she felt inspired by slew of emotions that had affected her life.

The piece is in honor of learning to live in the moment, and to not think too much in the future or get stuck in the past.

She hopes that when reading this poem people will realize to take a break from everything that is going on and just breathe.

“I write when I feel very passionate and emotional,” Lac said. “Poetry is my personal and emotional paper collection.”

Lac talks passionately about how much poetry can help heal people including herself.

It gives people who feel alone in this world some hope that they are not alone.

Similarly to the way these two students use poetry to express emotion, poetry itself is a way to express the indescribable.

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