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Optimus
02-27-2005, 09:13 AM
This is a question spawned from my last thread.

I was intrigued when reading one of the responses so, I ask, why do you write poetry?

Is it because you have something powerful within you, building up, like a fire that will consume you if you don't let it out, the flames licking away your soul?

Or, just because you think it's fun?

Do you write simply as an emotional/spiritual catharsis, not wanting nor caring for others to ever read your work?

Or, do you write because you have something to tell people, something you want them to hear, or something you need them to hear?

I'm just wondering and I think it'd be interesting to hear some of the responses.

I find that poets seem to be some of the more thoughtful and introspective of all writers, so I'm curious as to the different motivations poets have for writing.

Ralyks
02-27-2005, 07:30 PM
"Is it because you have something powerful within you, building up, like a fire that will consume you if you don't let it out, the flames licking away your soul?"

That's putting it a bit melodramatically, but it is something like that. The words are rattling around in my head and I feel compelled to write them out. I write because I have to.

"Or, just because you think it's fun?"

Sometimes I do it for this reason too. Less often. I have more time for compulsion than for fun.

"Do you write simply as an emotional/spiritual catharsis, not wanting nor caring for others to ever read your work?"

No, I rarely do this. I try to make all of my poems readable. Which is not to say I write to be published, but that it is not a merely personal experience with me. I want my poems to be accesible and enjoyable for others.

Betty W01
02-28-2005, 07:15 AM
Poetry is a way to write with more emotion than is usually acceptable in other types of writing.
It's therapeutic at times.
It is a way to tell someone something that I think they need/want to hear.
It's a way to play with language.
It's just the way some of what I have to write comes out.

I like to write poety and I've sold a few, had a few used in dramatic ways (on a headstone, in a Naval Academy dedication ceremony, on a counted-cross-stitch hanging, in a published cookbook), and given a lot away as gifts. Mostly I write for myself and for God (to Whom many are dedicated) and when I do share them, I don't care much what other people think about them (unless I'm trying to sell them, when I'm very careful to follow guidelines, meter, rhyme schemes, etc.)

I consider myself a writer who sometimes writes poetry, not a poet. And my favorite quotes about poetry are:


There's no money in poetry but then there's no poetry in money, either.--Robert Graves (1895--1985), British author



"Poetry, which always sits on the sideline, is really there for us at a time
like [the aftermath of Sept. 11]. We know it because it is what we say when a child is born, when someone gets married or at the side of the grave. That's when we go to poetry, when things are really important." --Joan Murray


"Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement."
--Christopher Fry

William Haskins
02-28-2005, 08:09 AM
Robert Graves (1895--1985), U.S. author

i like your response, but robert graves must be rolling over in his well ... grave.
he was british. very.

oneovu
02-28-2005, 08:55 AM
Yes, flame licking. All the little things Iíve done and said, indiscretions, lies, imperfections, some real, some imagined, building and rising to a deafening crescendo of spoiled guts played in a pitch only I am sensitive to that must be given voice outside my mind or my head will surely explode. That. Is what poetry is to me.








Lol, no itís not.

Iím not a poet. I donít know anything about meter or style. I write poetry on occasion for all kinds of odd inspired reasons. Most of the time itís flippant and fun or observational, now and then it's serious, and lately I have written some that is about me.

How do you know a peach is a peach? You can see it. You can see it and touch it. You can see it, touch it, taste its sweetness, take in its fragranceÖ to me, poetry is another sense, unique in the way it cultivates insight. The more senses used deepens understanding.

Rose
02-28-2005, 09:25 AM
Don't hate me because I'm a rotten poet! I'm not even a "real" poet in that I see myself as a writer of nonfiction.

Still, I turn to poetry when my personal essays fail. Sometimes, after hours or days of struggling with an essay, I realize the piece is meant to be a poem. That is, the piece seeks to portray emotion or feeling, more than tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Again, please don't throw worm-riddled tomatoes at me. I love poetry, but have accepted its creation is not a gift I inherently possess.

As a shameless act of ego-boosting, though, I will add I've had three poems published (in an anthology of which I co-founded the publishing company...so take that for what it's worth). One of those poems has also been accepted for publication in a magazine, and should see ink this year.

reph
02-28-2005, 11:52 AM
I don't write real poetry. I occasionally write doggerel because it's fun.

neepheid
02-28-2005, 12:08 PM
This is a question spawned from my last thread.

I was intrigued when reading one of the responses so, I ask, why do you write poetry?

Is it because you have something powerful within you, building up, like a fire that will consume you if you don't let it out, the flames licking away your soul?

Or, just because you think it's fun?

Do you write simply as an emotional/spiritual catharsis, not wanting nor caring for others to ever read your work?

Or, do you write because you have something to tell people, something you want them to hear, or something you need them to hear?

I'm just wondering and I think it'd be interesting to hear some of the responses.

I find that poets seem to be some of the more thoughtful and introspective of all writers, so I'm curious as to the different motivations poets have for writing.

I write because I enjoy it and because I like hearing what other people have to say about it, good or bad. I left behind the catharsis a long time ago. No-one (seriously) wants to read that stuff. I'd rather tell a story and leave enough room for the reader to come to their own conclusion.

Betty W01
02-28-2005, 06:22 PM
<blushing> I usually try to look up and verify a quote before using it in here (I always do in my writing), but that one got by me. Thanks for pointing out my mistake.

William Haskins
02-28-2005, 07:35 PM
I was intrigued when reading one of the responses so, I ask, why do you write poetry?

poetry was my first love, and all my aspirations of being a writer revolved around it. i get a feeling of satisfaction in writing poetry that is impossible to duplicate in any other form of writing.


Is it because you have something powerful within you, building up, like a fire that will consume you if you don't let it out, the flames licking away your soul?

language is incomplete. it may be humankind's high water mark in communicating with one another, but it is incapable of completely expressing the range of human emotion and thought. poetry seeks to wring the most out of language, by turning it on itself, compressing, deconstructing, violating and celebrating it - without regard to rules of syntax. in this role, poetry has more in common with painting and music than it does with other forms of writing.


Or, just because you think it's fun?

it's fun in the wacky way it compels one to pull one's brain from one's skull and manipulate it like a rubik's cube.


Do you write simply as an emotional/spiritual catharsis, not wanting nor caring for others to ever read your work?

it's ritual. not in the religious sense (although it can be); but no one truly engages the writing or reading of poetry without experiencing the transcendent quality of it. the rush for me is in writing it, though i appreciate it when it connects with someone. i no longer actively seek publication (i haven't had a poem published in a decade), and would rather take a rusty nail in my eye than read it aloud.


Or, do you write because you have something to tell people, something you want them to hear, or something you need them to hear?

poetry is rebellion - against the artificial restrictions put on language by pedants, against cookie-cutter thought, against paradigms of perception.

i was drawn as a child to the outlaw quality of poetry. in the age of the novel (and certainly that of electronic media), poetry is relegated to a small section of slim volumes tucked away in the dusty nether-regions of bookstores and libraries. poetry is subversive and sublime. its mystery is dangerous to those who don't get it.

Sarita
02-28-2005, 08:09 PM
language is incomplete. it may be humankind's high water mark in communicating with one another, but it is incapable of completely expressing the range of human emotion and thought. poetry seeks to wring the most out of language, by turning it on itself, compressing, deconstructing, violating and celebrating it - without regard to rules of syntax. in this role, poetry has more in common with painting and music than it does with other forms of writing.

IMHO,poetry is much like painting. When I'm working on or finishing up an ink piece, I can think of nothing i want more to do than to express my feelings about the art in poetry. It feels so fundamental to me, like the ink wouldn't be complete unless I expressed it in words of poetry. Poetry was the begining of writing for me, I can't even remember when I started. Some of it is VERY private and some I can't wait to share. When my writing (short, novel, or otherwise) needs a kickstart, I try turning out a few lines of poetry and the creative world shifts back on track for me.

Sara

He becomes harsh in the middle of St. Valentine's moon. ~SmsC

kemal
03-01-2005, 12:38 AM
Well, for me, the poem is a beautiful compression (should be) of experience.

and, when done properly, imho, language is used to transcend language to arrive at a visceral point.......
that's why when people ask me what it means, i say, "it means whatever it means to you."

kf

Pat~
03-01-2005, 04:16 PM
I write poetry when I can't NOT write it. I don't care if anyone reads it; the thrill is in the writing of it. But if someone does connect with what I've written, that's pretty sweet, too. (Although, like William said, don't ask me to read it to you.) Sometimes I write just for fun--limericks, 'odes', etc. But because I most often write devotional poetry, for me it is usually a spiritual experience; it's my way of trying to 'capture' transcendence, much like taking a snapshot with my camera. It is the one time when I write that I feel sure I am in dialogue, not monologue.

aspier
10-21-2005, 12:57 AM
I don't understand the question! Its like asking a human being why she is human be-ing?

Shane
10-25-2005, 03:17 AM
well i guess its your first point for me... i just have to let things out this way... on trains, buses, during classes... memories, ideas, just a simple word can spark a thought or a feeling that i just cant seem to forget... i dont want EVERYONE knowing i write, nor do i want them reading my personal emotions... very few do know, and yes very few of my "poems" are here... i prefer to call them "writings" i am not a poet by any means... i actually hate it sometimes, cant sleep, cant focus... keep telling myself to shut up... ok i will shut up now... happy writing...

ricahardo
10-25-2005, 07:09 PM
Personally I write to both channel and explore my imagination. In every day life I teach and that is indeed stimulating. However I find that my writing gives me the opportunity to fly free, at once unencumbered by reality and seeing it from a completely different perspective. When I eventually do return to the ground, I find that I frequently see things differently. I have new ideas, find new words to describe things with and am generally refreshed.
The box can be claustrophobic and difficult to see in. Frequent sorties outside are to be recommended!

egem
10-27-2005, 09:31 AM
I write poetry because it saved my life. When I was in the 4th grade I could not read. I don't mean I didn't sound good when I read, I mean I couldn't read anything (maybe dog, cat, ect..). I remember being under a table for reading time with a couple of friends and them passing the book back and forth, and when it would come to me I would make every effort to get out of it. I was placed in a "special" reading program. I was shy. The kids were very rough, and I hated it. It was the worst kind of torture for me honestly. I would much rather sit inside my own head than to deal with the real world anyway, and I had kids climbing the walls around me.

Well one of my reading teachers in the program let us pick out books from one of those flyers, and I couldn't read it so I just pointed to the prettiest book I saw I guess. It turned out to be a book of poems. I had the book for many years until just recently. Anyway she started reading to me, and within a month I was writing poems. I really started writing before I learned to read, and then reading poetry became my past time. I caught up to grade level by my Junior year in high school. My grades impoved and I went to school for writing and journalism and made the top 1/3 of my class. I went back later and got a masters degree and now I teach kids to read and write poetry. What else could I do?

Oh, the part about saving my life. Well most of the people around me, if you remember were not the best of character. So through my high school years I hung out with the type people that do not make it to college. My love of writing took me there, and I've lost 7 good friends to overdoses or suicide in the last 12 years.

aspier
10-27-2005, 03:04 PM
Cool! But last paragraph snif! Very nice story + proves a theory I have had now for many years (since childhood) that poetry has nothing to do with reading (reading it?). And that reading ... well people read only things they already know. To confirm or such. Etc. I probably would have been with you under the table. You sound nice! Smile!

Cassie88
10-28-2005, 07:06 AM
A friend of mine sent me an email today about her son Christopher who started college this fall. I thought of this thread.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Devon has been using an old notebook of Chris' in which Chris obviously kept a journal of sorts relative to some creative writing class. I have been absolutely spell-binded by it tonight.

Here is an entry:

Poetry = Revolution

Poetry is the transfer of information, a form of communication, but the information communicated reflects emotion, has a power from the author rare in other forms of literature, but with a control and freedom rare in other forms of speech. So, it is poetries "best of both worlds' that makes it equal revolution. Revolution is ignited by emotion, offers the same control and freedom but in action instead of words. Revolution is poetry in action.

aspier
10-29-2005, 11:02 PM
Poetry even transcends that imo ... 'poetry is alway something else' .

If you are interested in pages and pages of blah I wrote about this in the 'Praag Review' and in which I defended this statement of this something else, here's a link to it = http://users.skynet.be/spier/oeuvrepress.htm Click on 'machines of art'.

But sure I grasp your think re this thread, Cas. What do YOU think poetry is? Big topic!

as



Interview contains this kind of stuff =

'If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm meknow that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.'
Emily Dickinson

'Poems are signs, insider material, or at least, deconstructive insider palpations of words. They are constructed out of things that are resilient, interchangeable and descantable and dynamic in temperament. There is movement, transition, division and inclination in poetry. The thingness of words, the things poetry are contrived and structured from, is the where/what-it-is-all-about in poetry. It may sound presumptuous, but, poetry IS this very something which is asked about when the query touches on essentiality. Essence. Formulations and admixtures such as: 'What, Is, The, Essence, Of and Poetry' prove the point: the thingness. Six things (words) are structured in a convincing fabrication. Syntactic rhythm and semantic weight bestow definition, significance and message. A poem, any poem, always enlarges the question of what poetry is. It adds to the historical questioning memoire. 'Poetry, Is, Always, An, Art-historical, Quest, Into, Some, Dark and Region'. The search for essence is convoluted, perplexing and intricate. It is a quest into illogical ambiguity.

Cassie88
10-29-2005, 11:06 PM
Aspier, yes, I know. I haven't answered that question. But I will .... soon.... oy.

aspier
10-29-2005, 11:16 PM
Aspier, yes, I know. I haven't answered that question. But I will .... soon.... oy.

Smile yes! Wow that was quick posting! But sure its a 'hughes' topic of which the smallest poem poem, if you know what I mean, real poem, gives the complete answer. I am just hooked to poetry and you? Its a drug or even worse ... a curse, like love. Nice fatal curse! No?

Waaaaah! What is poetry????

aspier
10-29-2005, 11:19 PM
Hey, check out what netscate wrote re this thread = http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21282

Alphabet
10-30-2005, 05:40 PM
:ROFL: Aspier, that's the same poem that appears earlier in this thread!

DeniseK
10-30-2005, 05:55 PM
I used to write poetry, but not anymore. I'm to busy trying to make a living at writing. Poets starve.

ricahardo
10-31-2005, 04:40 AM
Poets may starve if they only write poetry ( Except for Billy Collins and others who have found the key to the kingdom), but you don't need to stop completely.

Even doing a little poetry exercise once in a while as a freewrite can only help the creative juices flow. And if creativity is important in any part of your life, it will provide useful stimulation as well as a little fun in an over serious world.

Mrs.Firefly
11-07-2005, 02:52 AM
i write poetry to rid my brain of all the cluttered chaos. keeps me balanced. most of my poetry is private. there's only a select few i share it with.

unthoughtknown
11-07-2005, 03:31 AM
I used to write poetry. Not anymore. Most of it was probably crap anyway. It was just another way to express my feelings. A lot of it seemed cryptic to others, which suggests I was mainly writing it for myself. Probably correct.

Now I'm interested in other areas of writing...

Alphabet
11-07-2005, 04:32 AM
A lot of people say that poets starve, but I can't agree. Oh, certainly, there is very little to be made from publishing poetry in magazines, very very few venues pay more than $10 per poem, and most don't even pay $$ at all. But then, you don't need 8hr days to be a poet - you can be a poet on your lunch break from a real career - ten minutes before sleep, on the back of a bus ticket - poetry doesn't need much. So starve? no, not at all - not if you are sensible and have a real job too.

So you publish where you can, if you want to, and after that is where you might be able to make money from it - perhaps as art therapist, perhaps as poet in residence (a paying residency), perhaps by running your own poetry classes, workshops, or retreats, perhaps at pay-to-attend readings.

But even if you don't make much money from your poetry, you might make much happiness.

brokenfingers
11-07-2005, 08:06 AM
Hmmmm, I'm not a poet but I became interested in poetry around the same time I joined this board. To be honest, I'd never really read much poetry before that (except for school-type stuff and who really reads that??)

It was around early spring that I read a poem and it struck me how the author (poet) had been able to convey a vivid image and/or emotion to the reader with brevity and precision.

I thought that was a vital thing for a writer to learn and so started looking into poetry and writing a little. So I suppose that's why I write poetry (when I do) because I feel it's an essential tool for a writer to have in their writer's toolbox.

I also like how it causes a writer to have to delve into their emotions and conjure them up for others to experience. Again, a useful thing for any writer to know or have experience in.

JAlpha
11-07-2005, 08:36 AM
Poetry started out as a means of formal cross-training regarding my other artistic pursuits--writing fiction and painting. And recently, the lines between all three forms have started to blurr in very interesting ways. For instance . . . I'm half way through the final edit on my novel, and I should be done already, but while I've been editing, I have discovered eight poems so far that were embedded in my novel, and I've worked them up as separate pieces.

Also, I've recently dusted off my water colors and ink pens, and instead of my usual cross-hatching technique, I'm writing lines of poetry into the line drawings.

AND last week I embedded an heirloom recipe into a poem written in the POV of my novel's protagonist!

I'm either getting more creative as I age, or I'm just losing my mind :Shrug:

rhymegirl
11-07-2005, 11:32 PM
This is a very good question. First of all, I think there are different types of poetry. There is serious poetry (the poet has something profound to say), light verse (sillier, cutesy, fun stuff, might be saying something important but in a light-hearted way), love poetry (obvious explanation), and of course greeting card-style poetry which is more gimmicky and sentimental.

I write serious poetry when I feel I have something important to say. Because you have to be concise when writing poetry, every word counts, and I like the challenge of that. I wrote one poem dealing with childbirth because I wanted to compare the way a woman is sometimes treated in labor with how a dog is treated in obedience school. When I had my first child, I was poked and prodded and given orders and told I was a "good girl" if I did everything they told me to do. How belittling! I had no say in the whole thing and I thought it would be the perfect topic for a poem--kind of a social commentary.

But sometimes it's just a matter of trying to get down on paper how I felt when I viewed something really spectacular or experienced something wonderful or out of the ordinary. And of course, it doesn't have to be something positive or uplifting. In college I wrote a poem about a pack of wolves attacking a caribou in a forest. Nothing beautiful and positive about that--but I thought maybe it made a statement about innocence and vulnerability--going it alone is sometimes a dangerous thing to do in this world.

And the little light-hearted poems I write here and elsewhere are just for fun and to make people smile. :)

aspier
11-08-2005, 12:42 AM
This is a very good question. First of all, I think there are different types of poetry. There is serious poetry (the poet has something profound to say), light verse (sillier, cutesy, fun stuff, might be saying something important but in a light-hearted way), love poetry (obvious explanation), and of course greeting card-style poetry which is more gimmicky and sentimental.

I write serious poetry when I feel I have something important to say. Because you have to be concise when writing poetry, every word counts, = POETRY

and I like the challenge of that. I wrote one poem dealing with childbirth because I wanted to compare the way a woman is sometimes treated in labor with how a dog is treated in obedience school. When I had my first child, I was poked and prodded and given orders and told I was a "good girl" if I did everything they told me to do. How belittling! I had no say in the whole thing and I thought it would be the perfect topic for a poem--kind of a social commentary.

But sometimes it's just a matter of trying to get down on paper how I felt when I viewed something really spectacular or experienced something wonderful or out of the ordinary. And of course, it doesn't have to be something positive or uplifting. In college I wrote a poem about a pack of wolves attacking a caribou in a forest. Nothing beautiful and positive about that--but I thought maybe it made a statement about innocence and vulnerability--going it alone is sometimes a dangerous thing to do in this world.

And the little light-hearted poems I write here and elsewhere are just for fun and to make people smile. :)


Nah nah! There's only one kind of poetry = the profound kind! The others are something else!

Nateskate
11-09-2005, 03:49 AM
On the whole, value is such a strange thing. Nothing is as timeless as words, and yet, those who wrote timeless words were often paupers. I see expression differently. If speaking doesn't pay, I would still speak. If breathing doesn't pay, I'd still breath. I think poetry is something some people have to do, whether it is recognized or not.

Poetry doesn't make sense if economics is first and foremost in life, unless you beat the odds. However, I think some people can't help but appreciate raw expression, or words that are nothing less than a well placed caress.

Obviously if you write in other genres, it doesn't hurt to bring some poetry into it, as Tolkien did into his work.

This is a strange metaphor. But some of the highest paid people in the world are professional athletes. But some of them would have played ball, like the guy working at Pepsi, or the state worker who went to the courts religiously every day to play as soon as he got out of work.

I'd like to think some poets would be poets simply because they can't stop doing it. Just a thought.

William Haskins
11-09-2005, 07:47 PM
money corrupts poetry. as soon as you're writing for money, there is an inescapable paradigm shift in how you view the purpose and structure of your work.

this is my opinion, and you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

zarch
11-10-2005, 06:40 AM
I write poetry because it's fun. When I teach poetry I tell my students it's "the art of words." Poetry is the craft of taking words and making them do things they wouldn't normally do, to explore language to the degree that each word in a poem serves a unique purpose and could not substituted with a different word. Poetry is that. The art of words. True, there is experience involved. And there's emotion, I guess, to some extent. Passion. Inspiration. All of that is there, I reckon. But the best thing about poetry is the words. The craft of arranging those words just so. Arranging them perfectly.


That's what I enjoy about poetry. Telling those words what to do.

William Haskins
11-10-2005, 08:25 AM
great post, zarch. my only quibble would be with your relegation of emotion. you're dead on that the craft and discipline of poetry require a mastery of language. but to not extend that disciple into harnessing the energy of emotional depth is to build an empty house. no matter how intricately designed and executed it might appear from the outside, there'd be no fire in the hearth.

egem
11-10-2005, 09:23 AM
money corrupts poetry. as soon as you're writing for money, there is an inescapable paradigm shift in how you view the purpose and structure of your work.

this is my opinion, and you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

amen

zarch
11-10-2005, 05:38 PM
William, it's not so much that I discount emtotion. That's certainly an important element in poetry. My point is that a poem filled with abstract emotion but that shows little attention to poetic craft is not fun to read. It may be cathartic for the poet, but as a reader of poetry I want a poem that's well written, not a poem that's well intentioned. A poem that's passionate AND employs good use of language? That's the best kind.

But I'd rather read a substantial poem about shoelaces than an abstract poem about love any day.

William Haskins
11-10-2005, 07:04 PM
yes, there should be a balance between emotional force and craft; but both are, in my opinion, vital elements.

abstraction, however, is not always the enemy of structure.

Alphabet
11-10-2005, 07:13 PM
But I'd rather read a substantial poem about shoelaces than an abstract poem about love any day

Well I'd rather read a poem that equated shoelaces with love, than one that equated love with shoelaces.

And yes, that is a comment about poetry, not love or shoelaces.

William Haskins
11-10-2005, 07:17 PM
Well I'd rather read a poem that equated shoelaces with love, than one that equated love with shoelaces.

but if they're "equated", wouldn't it be irrelevant on which side of the equation either of the terms are?

And yes, that is a comment about math, not poetry, love or shoelaces.

Unique
11-10-2005, 08:04 PM
Love + shoelaces = relationships in knots≥/square root of


Alphabet
11-10-2005, 08:27 PM
It is a question of rounding up or rounding down....

And that is a comment about math AND poetry ;-)

William Haskins
11-10-2005, 08:42 PM
math makes my head hurt. poetry just makes my heart hurt.

Nateskate
11-10-2005, 08:52 PM
great post, zarch. my only quibble would be with your relegation of emotion. you're dead on that the craft and discipline of poetry require a mastery of language. but to not extend that disciple into harnessing the energy of emotional depth is to build an empty house. no matter how intricately designed and executed it might appear from the outside, there'd be no fire in the hearth.

Nicely put. One (emotion) has to do with the design, the other (craft) the quality of materials used.

The more mastery of language, the more tools one has to build with. It doesn't mean someone cannot build a great place with simple tools and simple materials. In music that happens all the time, where a three chord song becomes a crowd favorite. It just limits the composer to three chord songs unless he learns more. And it limits his audience to people who prefer three chord songs over jazz or anything more complex.

William Haskins
11-10-2005, 10:18 PM
indeed

Optimus
11-11-2005, 11:30 AM
"Poetry is adolescence fermented and thus preserved." - Jose Ortega y Gassett

Paint
11-11-2005, 06:41 PM
"abstraction, however, is not always the enemy of structure."

I love this quote William. It really reflects the way I feel.
Paint

sunshinefaith83
11-12-2005, 07:39 AM
I write poetry because it lets me express my feelings. Poetry I feel is a very romantic way of writing. In poetry you can write just about anything.

I write poetry most when I feeling down or perhaps am feeling a certain way I can put into a poem. I used to hate poetry because it was so hard to write, but now that I'm older I love poetry, it's one thing I actually know I'm good at.

I think poetry is my favorite genre in writing. It's more than just words on a page.

Kristy

William Haskins
11-12-2005, 08:40 AM
a lovely sentiment. welcome to the boards.

blisswriter
11-12-2005, 10:54 AM
I write poetry usually to capture feelings and memories. My prose tends to flow from dreams, incidents I witnessed/overheard, etc.

I began writing poetry when I met my husband (10 years ago). I'd never really liked it before but he brought out the mushy-gushy in me. :heart:

Perks
11-12-2005, 07:46 PM
idea + word choice = message

This is what we do. I love words. Sometimes too much. In my prose, I have been accused and convicted of losing my reader somewhere between the capital letter and the period in a maze of words. It's one of my Achilles' heels. (In that case, I must be some kind of terrestrial octopus.)

The limitations of meter, rhyme and/or rhythm weight the equation on the word choice side. I don't do it often and I don't really do it very well, but when I write poetry, the discpline of picking through and discarding words until I find the right one is meditative and satisfying. Sometimes even exhilarating.

Within the confines of well-rendered poetry, the words stretch their meanings and lead to leaps of connectivity. And if the reader dangles over the same chasm that the author did when it was written, well then, you've really managed something, haven't you? Anyone can arrange a meeting on solid ground, but in mid-air? That takes talent.

William Haskins
11-12-2005, 07:52 PM
poetry is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the reference picture on the box, plus all of the pieces are hidden in various places in a messy house.

Perks
11-12-2005, 08:15 PM
So, is there nothing enoyable about the process? I knew I was doing it wrong...

William Haskins
11-12-2005, 08:19 PM
i've never found the process enjoyable, only inevitable.

Alphabet
11-12-2005, 09:12 PM
poetry is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the reference picture on the box, plus all of the pieces are hidden in various places in a messy house.

I'm sorry William, I know you don't like adulation, but THAT is startlingly accurate:- An all-time all-weather all-encompassing analogy - it deserves a <smiley removed in honour of WH>!!!

brokenfingers
11-13-2005, 03:31 AM
Hmmm... I wouldn't say poetry is really like that for me.

Usually when I start out with a poem, I have a general idea (even if vague) of what I want to say.

The daunting thing for me is the task of digging deep within myself, of searching within my mind and my heart for what it is I'm trying to share with others: the feelings, the sensations, the emotions etc.

I have to re-experience these things in order to have them "fresh" and be able to give them enough substance so that others can see the offering I am holding between my hands.

Then taking these "things" I've dredged up and trying to find the right words to frame them with.

I think poetry is about harnessing emotion and experience and presenting them to total strangers in a way that they can relate to. It's an offering of a piece of yourself, that in effect shows others: Hey, We're not so un-alike...

William Haskins
11-13-2005, 04:08 AM
well, i take it back then.

Alphabet
11-13-2005, 04:58 AM
brokenfingers, your longer description is exactly what WH's analogy was saying - you are the house, the pieces are the words, and the missing picture on the box is that 'I have a general idea (even if vague) of what I want to say'

tee hee hee.. and I think WH was being a bit understated or maybe even 'opposite-stated' in his response... but I could be wrong because I often am.

William Haskins
11-13-2005, 05:02 AM
yes, it's precisely the same thing.

brokenfingers
11-13-2005, 05:44 AM
well, i take it back then...

DenimSoul
11-13-2005, 06:18 AM
The type of poetry I write the most is haiku. There are many reasons I enjoy haiku. I've had a huge interest in Asian culture ever since I was about two years old and this just naturally came along with that interest. Another reason is that I like capturing a moment in time and magnifying it for the world to see. Writing haiku (all poetry really) is like putting a specimen under a microscope. Only difference is poets use words.

Joseph The White
11-13-2005, 06:32 PM
I write poems for the same reason I read them. Oscar Wilde once said "to love, to suffer, to think is to seek poetry." Well, I love, I suffer, and I think, so I write poems. And for me, poems just seem to lend themselves to capturing emotion and abstract things better than prose. there's something about the powerful subtely employed in a poem that just...makes your mouth water when you read it (or write it). I can't really explain it better than that. I know it's there, but I'm at a loss for words when it comes to why I really desire poetry. And for a writer, that's saying a lot!

- Joe

William Haskins
11-13-2005, 08:08 PM
welcome to AW, joseph.

black winged fighter
11-13-2005, 09:58 PM
Answer to Original Post:
Poetry, for me, is a way of saying something as perfectly and simply as possible. If other people read it and take something away from it, that is good. If they don't, it does not metter to me.
I don't die if I don't write poetry, and it doesn't always brighten my day. But it does relieve mental pressure build-up, and it sharpens my prose skills. Mostly it's fun, and it's always rewarding.
Everything is subject to change, however...

clarity_jane
11-14-2005, 10:28 AM
Writing for me has never been a disapline, its just something i do, and poetry is no different, I write for no other reason than to feed my own creativity if i didnt write i would go insane

scarletpeaches
12-07-2005, 03:05 AM
This is a question spawned from my last thread.

I was intrigued when reading one of the responses so, I ask, why do you write poetry?

Is it because you have something powerful within you, building up, like a fire that will consume you if you don't let it out, the flames licking away your soul?

Sometimes. Revenge? Feeling petty? Yeah, that too.


Or, just because you think it's fun?

Vengeance always is. :D


Do you write simply as an emotional/spiritual catharsis, not wanting nor caring for others to ever read your work?

I wouldn't say so. Does it make me a sell-out to say I write to be read? It doesn't make my poems any less honest, though.


Or, do you write because you have something to tell people, something you want them to hear, or something you need them to hear?

Something I need them to hear would most closely describe it. It's a way of being heard, trying to make myself understood. Whether people want to hear it or not...meh.:Shrug:

Alana Mortensen
12-10-2005, 11:13 AM
I write poetry because it is who I am. I write it for release of all the pent up emotions, because I believe I have something that has to be said and poetry is the best forum for me to say it, because itis part of me (Much like music is part of a musician), because other forms ofwriting just do not fit me. It is my first and true love and has not failed me yet. I write to express myself and what I feel, what I am going through, I write to say "I LOVE YOU" or just to vent. In that case the anger is dark and confusing and writing helps me straighten out the circuitus route of my words. I write poetry also as a ;precurcr to my aspiration of being a songwriter (something which has now come to be). Idonot profess to be good at it but I Love It and thyink itshows in my words.

If you find any typos here, I am sorry. it is late or rather early and myeyes are not the best today......oh yes and Ijustfinishd writing a song so forgive me my EFS.

EFS=Errant Finger Syndrome

Much love to all,
Alana

mkcbunny
12-10-2005, 11:42 AM
For the first half of my life, I was a painter. I began writing poems when painting did not allow me to say everything I wanted to say; that led me to mixed-media work incorporating poems. Soon, I realized that visual work didn't have a large enough vocabulary for my ideas. One day, I realized that I was becoming a writer. I still feel a bit odd saying that. Don't catch me at a dinner party and say, "What do you do?" I will stare back at you like a blinded deer in the road.

My recent poems are within my novel in progress. They come to me at odd moments—as I am falling asleep, when I am in the shower. Lately, I have been thinking that I should write free-standing poems that I can post here for some feedback.

So, why? Because it feels good. Because it calms me. Because it is instinctive. More than any other form of writing, poetry seems to come to me in the classic "muse" sense, without warning, without knowing what I intend. Poof! There it is. And that's a great feeling. After it comes out, then I review it with an editorial eye. So we'll see what happens. I thank all of you kind folks here who have inspired me to begin again.

Mjarabrab
12-12-2005, 12:57 AM
I haven't been on here for a while, have had "writers block" but would like to say here, that for me, and this may sound very weird, but when I write, it comes from a very strong feeling that I'm not sure even what I'm going to say as I write. Sometimes I'll go back and read what I just wrote and wonder how I did it. I can't explain how it fits together because when I start at the beginning, I have no plan or idea how the ending is going to go. I think my writing comes directly from my emotions and as they come out, I discover how I reallly feel as I write it and read it after.
Is this making any sense to anyone, does anyone else do this??
After I write, I feel empty, like I got it all out of me, untill I write another one.
And I can't write another one till I have the feeling, and then I write it in about 10 min.
Barbarea