Written by Chonise Bass
Marion Wornum attempts to breathe life into what he feels is a dying medium and he does so by writing his story through poetry.
Marion has always been connected to poetic stanzas, only in high school it was showcased through his love of music.
“I started poetry around my freshman year of high school…I just started dibbling and dabbling, cause I was writing music at that time when I transitioned into poetry. Poetry just became a nice outlet and a way to express myself.” After writing the lyrics on Facebook, he began to notice how, without the backing of the track, the words took on a new unrealized poetic form. It’s in this new space that he has the leeway to explore more perspectives and take on new artistic voices.
A native of Macon, Georgia, the 24-year old remarks that the poet community is far smaller than he expected. “From what I’m hearing, there’s a big community of poets back home. But since I’ve been up here (in Atlanta)…not so much. I might have found three poets on the Westside, but everyone else does music.”
But instead of reverting to what’s popular, Marion instead bridged the gap between his two passions. “I am also working on what I guess you can call an album; it’s going to be a mix of songs and poetry. I’m actually in the process of writing that…I’m trying to take poetry to a whole new level, because I feel like it’s a lost art that no one really talks about.” He makes strides to cross mediums, infusing poetry into multiple artistic genres like books and albums to make his work both translatable and accessible to a broad audience. Simply put, he’s taking creativity to a new level, and he wants to tap into what’s popular and marketable as a growing artist.
But why stop at albums? Marion has also created a podcast entitled, A Poet’s Story, which is centered, like the rest of his work, on stories. “It has a story and then you get a poem to go with it. Another podcast that’s coming a little later on will be more of a talk show…I saw it as a way to branch out, but I’ve wanted to start a podcast for about a year.” Just a few weeks ago, he saw his wish come to fruition.
One year isn’t much compared to the six years he spent working on his book, The Priceless Diamond, which is a collection of poems that nostalgically reflects on first love and personal growth. His main advice for younger artists is simply to persevere: “Trust the process. It takes a lot of patience to even get to a certain point where you get somewhere. The title of my book changed about three to four times, and the actual content of that book has changed three to four times per title…You just have to trust the process and be patient. No matter what other people think, or whatever else is going on, you have to keep working and keep writing. Eventually, patience will have her perfect work." With patience comes the realization that immediate success is not a reality in this time of instant gratification, and not everyone will be there to shoulder the load and wait with you.
By taking a page from Marion’s book, perhaps we can all learn the real power of stories - and the expanding means by which we choose to hear them.
Find Marion’s work at aheartstears.wordpress.com, or through Facebook at @AHeartsGarden.