© 2007, 2013 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
"Self-expression is a kindness to the soul that so invests" comes to mind upon having the question revisited:
"Is poetry better based on experience or based on opinion?"
"It is clearly better to write poetry based upon opinion than upon life experience." That in itself is an opinion. The truth is, opinion is a derivative expression of thought or thoughts collected, imagined, or created, and are not necessarily derived from either reality or experience.
Human beings are creative and find the need to express themselves completely. We must not allow ourselves to be limited by what we physically experience-simply because we are complex spiritual beings.
It is almost inevitable that when poetry is written only from physical experience, it can be identified as such. There are exceptions, however, the mundane detail of even reckless experience limits the scope and style of poetry.
It takes many steps to walk to the ends of the earth physically; one after the other, predictable and difficult, but the mind and imagination can be allowed to reach the same goal instantaneously and return before one step is physically taken.
Poetry is expression of thought that originates from resonance in the heart with exterior elements, those in the physical world. True, but the heart resonates, responding to stimuli unlimited and universal; the soul expresses the harmonic resonance of the heart with galaxies in flight throughout the universe.
To have the soul soar into the universe , unlimited in distance, speed, scope, feelings, senses, with all obligations of the silver cord cut and forgotten--- is the true Light of poetry.
To write a poem based only upon life experience is to ground ones' mind and impose limitations and shackles upon prose, poetry, or any form of writing. Experience paints a localized picture, but the incredible power of the mind and an unfettered imagination coupled with the soul is capable of painting an endless motion picture of the universe.
Opening your eyes and merely writing about what you see, -what is there, what others are doing, events that are occurring around you, and what you experience, although complicate enough in itself, -is to perhaps settle only for the mundane. It can be interesting and entertaining, but opening the universal mind and using the opinion of the soul is to induce and create breathless magic.
Life experience can be a good thing in writing poetry if it is perceived, recognized and explored as mundane; a minute part of the universe. How does the mundane affect the soul? Perhaps from a superior point of view, much do you encourage your life experience and the mundane to stimulate your soul? That may be the correct answer.
To perceive anything other than the readily visible IS to form an opinion or extrapolated guess. All of the senses are involved including faith, imagination, beliefs, comprehension, and deduction; impressions of love, hate, glory, exhaustion, panic and fear- all of our human conditions can interface, interact and hybridize thought, bending, molding, and shaping opinion with no limit -hence better poetry is the inevitable result.
Yes, it is clearly better to write a poem based on opinion, rather than one based solely upon the relatively stifled limitations of life experience. That bold conclusion, however, does not preclude the use of experience as one of the spices of life to enhance your written verse.
Is that Incoming I hear?