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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why Do Poets Write Poems?

Why do people write poems or manuscripts with poetic qualities? The reasons may vary from one poet to another, but these characteristics commonly occur in varying degrees at various levels of professionalism:

• Artistic Expression - Poets who begin to write in childhood or as young adults often have a special gift for playing with words or writing poems with a strong sense of musicality. These poets may later have fun writing poems for children or writing highly poetic fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages.

• Connection with Other People - Eventually poets want to show their work to others, who may or may not be too encouraging! Frequently, however, a parent, grandparent, teacher, editor, or another poet will recognize at least a hint of literary talent and nurture the person's interest in poetry.

• Therapeutic Value - People in all age groups and cultures often begin to write poems as a creative outlet for their potent feelings, memories, or emotions. These poems can serve an expressive purpose similar to journal-writing and can bring interesting histories or even healing to family members. Since publication is not the purpose for this type of writing, the poems might not connect with readers in general or be suitable for print. However, when revisions have other people in mind, therapeutic poems can speak for readers who cannot express themselves well.

• Publication - As poets begin to gain confidence in their poetic abilities, they usually want their poems to be accepted for publication in print journals, magazines, anthologies, or online e-zines. Since many, many other poets want the same, those who love poetry and take it seriously will be more apt to read and study poetry, including the time-tested techniques and diverse forms of traditional and free verse poetry before submitting a batch of poems to an editor. When these poems begin to place, poets often discover they have repeated a single theme around which they can collect relevant poems, arranging the individual pieces into a chapbook or poetry book manuscript.

• Literary Contribution - Once several poems have placed in a literary journal or other publication, poet sometimes begin to see the value of their work as a contribution to the literary arts. This glimpse of a literary world much bigger than oneself often encourages poets to improve their poems, for example by spending more time in revising and also studying in more depth the works of classical and contemporary poets who have won such prestigious awards as the Nobel or Pulitzer prizes for poetry.

If you have not yet studied poetic techniques, traditional verse, free verse, and/ or other forms of poetry, you will find this help in the reader-friendly book, Poetry: Taking Its Course, available on The Poetry Editor website - http://www.thepoetryeditor.com .]

1 comment:

  1. Mary,

    This is very interesting insight to a non-poet like myself. Thanks for sharing.

    Chris Paulsen