I asked a bunch of poets the above question. I’ll feature their answers here each week until I run out or find more poets to answer the question…
Andy Jackson says:
“Why do I write poetry? There’s no comprehensive answer. Much of it is, I suspect, unconscious and mysterious.
But the bulk of it is, I’d say, a way to reach towards self-transcendence. In other words, when I write, I’m trying to understand something about my interaction with the world, by writing through it, hoping that I can phrase it in a way that reaches other people, goes beyond my own consciousness, my own perspective. I am trying to get over myself.
Which implies, I guess, that poetry for me is an attempt at communication with others. But I am also trying to communicate with myself, convince myself of what potentials my life is capable of. Whoever the audience is, and however they take it (because, in the end, a poem is not an argument but a room, an environment, a place people enter and experience in their own ways), I am trying to spark something unexpected, humane and counter-cultural.
I also just love the resistance language puts up, the fact that the poem in my head is never the poem on the page…”
Drop by next week for another answer from another poet.