Why I Write Poetry
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Why I Write Poetry

My journey towards falling in love with the art of poetry writing.

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Why I Write Poetry
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I'm not a poet. I have taken a single poetry class in college, and I attended a few poetry readings because of it, but none of these things make me a poet. There are students and professors at my university who dedicate their careers to the art of writing, analyzing, and loving poetry. Although I do enjoy the art, I can not claim to be anything other than someone who loves and appreciates poetry, and might try to write it every once in a while.

I used to love writing poetry throughout high school, but college proved to be an intimidating place to express myself simply because of all the incredible talent and passion that surrounded me. Endless self-comparison put a damper on my drive to write creatively, and I put off writing for a long time, until I ventured into taking a creative writing class on poetry. It was there that I realized that I don't have to be an aspiring poet or an English major or specialize in the study of rhetoric to express myself through this medium. The process was what I made of it, and the end product, a poem, did not have to be for anyone else but me. After that class, after sharing my poems out loud for the first time, and after learning from the writing styles of others, I finally found the courage to pick up the pen once again and finally speak my truth. This courage has changed my outlook on writing in general and has inspired me to adopt it back into my life.

I began writing every day, and every day I would polish the previous day's poem until the words were able to convey what I felt. I almost never got it perfectly right, but that didn't matter, because the poem was mine to write, read, and enjoy. This process helped me in a variety of ways. I was able to express myself again, and I was proud of the finished product. Even when I wasn't satisfied with how my poem turned out, I was proud of my efforts. Writing poetry served as a great therapy for me because I not only had complete freedom over the subject matter of the poem, but I did not have to abide by the constraints of grammar, syntax, or rhyme. The words I chose to include and the order in which I placed them were not subject to the laws of the typical English language. In fact, some of my poems weren't even fully in English.

Rekindling my creative side was one of the best things I could have done for my mental well-being and my outlook on life in general, but it wasn't enough. Thus far, my poems had been for me and me alone. Not sharing my poetry has proven to be harmful because although it has shielded me from potential hurtful opinions or embarrassment, it has also prevented me from experiencing the benefits of constructive criticism and feedback that would help me grow in the craft. The next step in my poetry-writing journey will be to start sharing my work with others. By embracing the criticism and evolving my style, I might be able to one day call myself a poet.

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