I asked a bunch of poets the above question. I’ll feature their answers here until I run out or find more poets to answer the question…
Peter Bakowski says:
Where words take us
(for Adam Ford and Dennis Wild)
I write poetry because
it puts windows where there were walls.
I write poetry because today is a mountain
I’d like to reduce to a few stanzas.
I write poetry because it makes you notice
the veins of a leaf, a bank teller’s fingernails,
the weather inside yourself.
I write poetry because now is the time to write it.
I write poetry because I enjoy
out of the corral of my ribs,
letting them graze
upon the blank page
under the shade of an adverb.
I try to write poetry clearly, use words sparingly,
each word, a small cog or spring needed
to make the poem tick.
Don’t want to fog or flood
any readers proceeding to the end of my poem,
where they may rest
in the quiet clearing
the last full stop.
[originally published on Bakowski Poetry News, December, 21 2009]