why do you write poetry?

Why do you write poetry? – Ashley Capes

I asked a bunch of poets the above question. I’ll post their answers here until I run out or ask more poets…

Ashley Capes says:

The answer that usually springs to mind, and it sounds a little flippant, is that I write poetry because I can’t stop.

It’s almost an illness. Poetry is something I ‘have’, the way you catch a cold perhaps. And who gave it to me? Those filthy Beatniks probably.

But seriously, I don’t think I could stop. Poetry is addictive for so many reasons, and one of which, is that poetry is achievable, both in a sense of length and time. Compared to a novel, which may take a year flat out (if you don’t have a full time job that isn’t writing), a poem can be finished in ten weeks or ten days, or even ten minutes. Poetry can often fit in around all the other things you have to do in life – holding down a job and other chores.

Poetry keeps me going between all the moments that are simply so prosaic that I guess I’d suffocate without it. (Although, it’s not just some sort of literary life-preserver, I do enjoy it too).

More answers as they arrive. Feel free to submit your own, too.

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