Why Do You Write Poetry?

by Judith Lachance-Whitcomb (February 2014)

Cupid _poetryWhy do you write poetry? Maybe some of you are thinking, “Duh, I wanted to be a winner.” or “My teacher – mother – father made me.” Okay, I suppose that’s why some of you wrote a poem. But I bet, there are a lot more of you who write poems even if there isn’t a contest or someone making you do it. You do it because there is something more than a medal or a happy look from some adult waiting for you when you finish your poem. What is it that a poet finds so rewarding when creating a poem?

Beverly Stanislawski is an award winning poet. She lives right here in Indiana. This is what she said when she was asked the question:

Poems are word puzzles waiting to be solved. Fit the pieces into their proper places, and a hidden picture emerges. With the visual, there is often a blending of rhythm and rhyme. I write poetry to see that image, to hear that symphony, and to convey those sights and sounds to others.

Is that why you write poems? You love playing with words? Do you feel the blending of rhythm and rhyme as you choose and move words to make them fit? Do you get really excited when see your hidden picture beginning to take shape?

Another well-known Indiana poet, Tom Spenser, says, “To me, the writing and composing of poetry is an essential of life.” He wants his work to give his readers a greater understanding of the theme. He goes on to say:

“I strive to capture the true rhythms of life and its nuances in all of my poetry so that the words create a song of sorts that is easy for the reader to relate. Why do I write poetry? Because it is necessary for my world view to be expanded.”

Do you create poem-songs that let your reader relate to how you feel, see something you’ve seen, or hear something you’ve heard? Do you write poetry because it brightens your world and makes it better?

Whatever the reason is that moves you to write poetry, just keep writing. I love poetry. I’m not a poet, but I need a poetic symphony in my life. Many people do. And we need you, the poets, to bring the song-words to us.

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