National Poetry Month 13 – Why Poets Write

Still working through National Poetry Month, my students were given a few resources and asked to brainstorm ideas yesterday. I didn’t want them writing anything, I simply wanted their creativity to flow. As we continued listing ideas for poetry blogs, books, and themes, one of my students asked me if poets make a lot of money from their poetry. It was a simple question, posed with no real thought to what the answer could be, he was just innately curious, because society seems to put a premium on everything–especially art.

I replied to him with the standard, “Artists don’t do what they do to make money.” And he just kind of shrugged. But, the question still lingered in his eyes and so I asked him what he thought. He shared how he thought they probably didn’t, because as he looked around my room he noticed the number of poetry books versus novels and non-fiction. And my room has a fair number of poetry books–all displayed front and center this month, for National Poetry Month.

So, we had an impromptu discussion about why poets write. We had viewed the Sarah Kay video last week where she explains she writes poetry to understand things around her. We have discussed how some poets take an experience and write about it because the emotions and feelings are so strong. They quickly began to realize there are some things we do just because we like to do them. They bring us joy, as an individual. I shared with them why I write poetry–for myself. To record ideas and snippets of words floating through my head. To record memories in a more solid form. I share with them how when I write a poem about an experience I can always go back to that poem and “relive” the experience again.

They left my room yesterday thinking about how their words, even if just for them, hold power. And some of them could be heard whispering ideas for poems they wanted to write. My work is never done but, there are some day, like yesterday, where I know a step forward has been made.

And for today’s reading:

The Dash Poem Recited by Author Linda Ellis | Linda Ellis.

How will you live your dash?

Thanks for celebrating National Poetry Month with me! Leave a comment.


One response

  1. Indeed, we are at an age of prose. I’m not a poet myself (I’m a playwright) so we’re more or less in the same boat.

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