In 2017, I started a “Why I Write Poetry” series of guest posts. I’ve already received so many, and I hope they keep coming in (details on how to contribute below). Today’s “Why I Write Poetry” post comes from Eileen Sateriale who writes, “Writing challenges allow me see how other people approach the same topic which expands my horizons.”
Eileen Sateriale is an Analyst for the Federal Government. She writes in her spare time. She has had poetry, short stories and travel articles published in on-line and print media. She lives in Methuen, Massachusetts with her husband.
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Why I Write Poetry: Eileen Sateriale
When I was in school, my fifth-grade class had a poetry contest for Valentine’s Day. I won the contest but I thought the second-place poem was better than mine. I shyly accepted my prize and hoped that the runner-up knew, that if I were the judge, I would have awarded her first place.
For many years, I wrote sporadically but then I rediscovered writing when I was a stay-at-home mom in the 1990s. During that time, I pursued many writing avenues. I was the public relations liaison for my daughters’ private school. I wrote articles about school activities and student accomplishments and I contributed to a column for the school in a local newspaper. I also had some short stories accepted for publication as well as some travel articles. However, I really enjoyed writing poetry and discovering different forms. I had some poetry published in online and print media. For my efforts, one time, I received a $10 gift certificate as payment and another time, a leather bookmark! So, I know that quitting my day job would not be wise.
I try to write each day. If I am having a hectic day and can’t write, I’ll approach it the next day. I wrote a lot of poetry about my children growing up and enjoy rereading it now that they are grown and on their own. I found myself writing about current events and find it amazing to read about the current events at the time, years later. After the attacks of 9/11, I wrote a lot of poetry. It’s a good thing that I did that then for I could never go back and recapture the emotion of the raw event.
I find writing challenges beneficial because they help me generate new material. My favorite are poetry form challenges. With poetry forms, I research how the forms came to be and try a fresh one on my own. I like taking the time to make the rhyme and the syllable count match the form while making sure that the poem is readable and makes sense. Some of my poems have been a work in progress for years but they will be worth it when they are done. Writing challenges allow me see how other people approach the same topic which expands my horizons.
Lastly, I hope someday, I will reconnect with my fifth-grade classmate on a poetry website. It would be awesome to read her poetry!
If you’d like to share why you write poetry, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a 300-500 word personal essay that shares why you write poetry. It can be serious, happy, sad, silly–whatever poetry means for you. And be sure to include your preferred bio (50-100 words) and head shot. If I like what you send, I’ll include it as a future guest post on the blog.