Posted in Poetry, Writing

Why Poetry?

Why do I write poetry?  Other than the fact that I love it, there are several reasons.

I’ve got a novel, a crime thriller, that I’ve been working on, for 4 or so years, off and on.  Yeah, a long time.  I know.  But other than that piece, I need other ways to express myself and poetry is the perfect outlet.

Poetry takes many forms.  With this freedom, my imagination can run wild.  My poems can be subjective, leaving the interpretation up to the reader.  They can have meaning to me that no one else would understand, but it’s a way to express that feeling/experience.

My poems give me the freedom to express my inner thoughts or feelings that I would not normally voice.  The expression of these things, again, can be interpreted differently by different readers.  I can cry, laugh, curse, spit or throw a written tantrum.  I don’t have to worry about adhering to the niceties of society.  No worry that I’ll be locked away or shunned for such behavior.

Another advantage of writing poetry is that it can be as long or short as you want it to be. The majority of my poetry is quite short.  The short poems work out great because I can get my writing “fix” and move on to other things.

Poems can vary from light and happy to dark and somber.  I never know what colors will be on my palette when I sit down to write.  Poetry lets me be brutally honest with whatever I decide to write about; more so than any other form of writing that I’ve experienced.

I’ve always loved poetry, even as a young child.  I poured over almost any book that I could get my hands on, reading well above my grade level from an early age.  (Thank you, Mom) With poetry, I felt that I HAD to UNDERSTAND what the writer was saying.  With a dictionary in hand, sometimes I would go line by line trying to decipher them.  Now as an adult, I have a real appreciation for this art form. 

I sometimes wonder about the thought processes behind what people write.  I can understand the inspiration for many forms of writing.  Romance, historical, biographies, even crime thrillers.  But other genres, I don’t get it.  Where does the inspiration come from that compels someone to write about 6-legged aliens or dinosaurs that sing and dance alongside humans?

Everything that I write has some of ME in it.  No matter what the subject matter is.  Little bits and pieces, experiences, memories, what I read or have seen in my life find their way into what I write.

How about you?  Why do you write what you write?  What inspires you?  Motivates you?  Compels you and pulls you to the keyboard?  I’d like to know.  



Penny Wilson is an international writer who writes in several genres. She has written articles for WOW Women on Writing. Her poetry has been published in online journals, such as Ariel Chart, Spill Words Press and the Poppy Road Review. Penny is a member of the Austin Poetry Society. Her poetry has been featured in the publication America's Emerging Poets 2018 & 2019 by Z Publishing and Poets Quarterly and Dual Coast Magazine published by Prolific Press. Penny is an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and has the page "Mental Health Help" on her blog. She writes about the struggles of mental illnesses and Depression. She is passionate about spreading awareness for Suicide Prevention and Domestic Abuse. She expresses her passion through her writings of poetry and life experiences. You can find more of her writings on her blog at and follow her on Twitter @pennywilson123.

21 thoughts on “Why Poetry?

  1. I totally feel the “quick fix” part.. a novel, even a short story.. takes much more time.. with poetry you basically let your mind wonder and words just flow and you feel better afterwards because you just had to let it out.. poetry kind of happens I guess 🙂


  2. Hi Penny! I began writing poetry and song lyrics and realized the “high” I had after. I found it to be therapy, during a bad period of my life, but now it is just a matter of what I feel God puts on my heart and, sometimes, just my muse going wherever my muse wants, and I am just along to scribe the words. Unlike you, my poetry isn’t just about observations and my life, as I know many poets do have this direct connection. No, I’ve made strives to venture into new waters and stretch my imagination and skills.
    One might say that my poetry, while usually with a Christian flare, can be very unpredictable at times. SciFi…You bet! Heartache and loss… Yep! Imagination of what someone might feel in a certain situation or during a hoppy or tragic life event… Indeed I make the attempt to capture it.
    Interestingly too, I decided to write a series of poetry books and self-publish this year. I am in the finishing touches and formatting with Kendle Publishing and should have volume one out within a couple months. In taking this step I hope to expand my comfort in writing and give my children and grandchildren something to remember me by. Sorry for the long answer. This was not planned!


  3. I poesy to get cozy with a thought. And a poem often allows an unexpected angle or aspect of an inarticulable (for me-via prose) idea or concept. That’s for the bio, but the brio of my rhyming is the simple joy of word slinging .

    Nice post.


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