What Is the Value of Poetry?

In the opening poem (“matters of great importance”) of my collection, Solving the World’s Problems, I ask a simple question: what’s more important / writing a poem / or building a bridge…

At least, the question starts off simple enough, but then it continues to spiral out into giving thanks, stocking chairs, delivering chairs, managing systems, and so on. But there are times when I waste time worrying about which really is more important. There are times when I wonder, “What am I doing here?”

Here being writing poems and devoting a tremendous amount of time and energy to a poetry blog. After all, there’s not a lot of money in writing poetry–even for a publisher like Writer’s Digest Books. But there’s more to measuring value than dollars and cents, isn’t there?

Why Am I Saying Any of This?

Every so often, there’s some kind of “death or uselessness of poetry” post or article that runs all viral on the Internet. So I’ve been meaning to write a post on why I think there’s value in poetry for a long while, but it was still simmering in me until I received this message on Facebook from Aleathia Drehmer, a poetry advocate who lives in New York:


I just wanted to say thank you for everything you do with the PAD challenges. The one in November helped me get over the death of my cousin and brought me back to writing after a year of near silence. This challenge is helping me get over the death of my mother. She passed in January and this is her birth month.

I actually don’t care if I ever get published again. Life has taken on a new meaning now and I honestly am getting back to the roots of writing when I was a little girl. Just writing because my heart says so, because it is a way I can communicate my little slice of the world with my dad and any friends that care to read.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me back something I had lost and thought I would not find again. Grief can be a great eraser sometimes. I’m just glad it hasn’t erased me yet.

Have a great day.


Aleathia is not the first person to send me a message like this, and I know she won’t be the last. But for me, this displays exactly what the value of poetry is, and it’s something more important and primal than shelf space at a brick-and-mortar bookstore or an online sales ranking.

Poetry is something deeply human.

What Does Poetry Mean to My Life?

Anyone who’s read this blog for a significant period of time knows that I’m not afraid to get personal, but let me get really personal. Poetry has helped me get into relationships, deal with break ups, absorb deaths, and other feelings. For instance, I was sexually abused over the course of two years as a child, and poetry helped me unbottle all those emotions and feelings that I had bottled up from that period of my life.

In college, I went so crazy on poetry that I burned out on it. In fact, I’d convinced myself that I was a horrible poet and that I should just focus on fiction, a genre in which I was actually winning some awards (and money). So I kinda wrote some poetry, but mostly I didn’t. That part of me fell dormant, and I thought I’d never get it back.

Then, I separated from my wife and my uncle died, and I had these huge gaping holes in my soul. I tried running some of the emotions out of me, but what ultimately helped me conquer these developments was poetry. The act of writing poems helps me tap into parts of myself that often don’t make sense until they’re down on paper.

What Does Poetry Mean to YOU?

I’ve shared what poetry means to me. It’s helped me deal with anger, frustration, heartbreak, headache, hopelessness, isolation, depression, and more. It’s helped me be human. That’s the true value of poetry as far as I’m concerned. Everything else is icing.

What does poetry mean to you?


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. In addition to editing Poet’s Market, he manages the Poetic Asides blog, writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, edits a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter, and more. He’s married to poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys  and one princess). He’s given up trying to figure out which is more important between writing a poem and building a chair; it’s really a chicken-egg argument, because both are necessary and valuable. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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53 thoughts on “What Is the Value of Poetry?

  1. james_lopez

    Poetry is vital language. Poetry depends on the writer’s sensations, history as well as perceptions, so every person has the background needed to write down poems. Because poetry draws for the senses and the senses give deep having access to memories as well as feelings, poetry writing is applicable and exciting.Poetry is ancient. By far the most primitive peoples used it, and the most civilized have discriminating it. In all of the ages and in most countries, poetry has become written – as well as eagerly read or listened to– by a variety and conditions of people – by simply statesmen, legal professionals, farmers, doctors, scientists, clergymen, philosophers, military, kings as well as queens.

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  2. kollindonovan

    Poetry heans so much to me. It gives me joy when I’m sad and and helps find solutions to my problems. I always have a couple of poetry books with me, although some of my colleagues from http://essayjedii.com make fun of me for that. I don’t care much, though.

  3. shelaghart

    Poetry helps to open my heart and my soul. I often think in poetry. It soothes and calms me like nothing else can. Poetry is my mantra when I am going through times happy or sad. Often haikus, rhymes and poetic words are on an endless thoughts loop while I am driving, washing the dishes, or performing the other mundane tasks of life. I hadn’t written any poetry for quite some time until I stumbled on the PAD Challenge in an email newsletter from Writer’s Digest. Thank you so much, Robert, for allowing a place for my poems (Haikus in this challenge) to come out of my head.

  4. RebekahJ

    Like many people here, I have found writing poetry personally helpful in times of trouble and deeply satisfying as a creative outlet. I also wanted to share that poetry is a lifeline for many people in prison. I volunteer with the Prison Book Program of the Lucy Parsons Bookstore, based in Quincy, MA, which sends donated books to incarcerated people who request them (see http://www.prisonbookprogram.org/ for more information). One of the genres people ask for most is poetry. These people are often in very difficult situations—indigent and abandoned by most friends and family, but trying to educate themselves, heal, and change to have a better future. And they find the value of poetry to be great—both reading it and trying to write their own. It really validates what many here have said—although it seems “impractical,” when faced with the most extreme challenges of our lives, poetry is exactly what many of us need. Thank you, Robert, for helping so many of us develop the capacity to create, appreciate, and interact with each other about poetry.

  5. shethra77

    My first poem was written on the back of a completed test when I was in third grade, and I wrote poems all through school. Although there was a long pause during later work and kid-raising, I began to write again with encouragement from a dear friend. The poetry had never gone far, just lain dormant for a while.

    It is always a part of me, a way to express myself, and a way, I think, in which humans need to express themselves. It is part of the magic of being alive.

    Thanks, Robert, for a reason to write more again.

  6. clcediting

    For me, I think poetry is truth. Poetry seems to be able to say things about being human that fiction just can’t. Maybe it’s because so much thought and feeling go into the words and finding the right words. Or maybe it’s because poetry is almost always personal, even if you’re writing as a character and not yourself.

  7. Benjamin Thomas

    To me poetry means expression. Sometimes there is a release of frustration. But most of the time I enjoy being creative. I write because I am a poet (I can finally say this). I write because there is something to say. Words bubbling in my head making their way to get out. I express myself a lot better when I write. Things that I can’t voice, are voiced in word. So I guess I write to be heard, or not. Poetry is about connecting with others as well. Streaming their feelings through writing. Fun!

    Thanks Robert, and all who write.

  8. DCR1986

    Poetry is food. We either share, compare, or learn a piece, then we nibble with the anticipation of becoming full off after being openly expressive and heard. If it was impossible, I would have no other lyrical home that serves me justice in simply being me. Pen, paper, and mind have been my bffs since the age of 7.So thank you WD for PAD—we just grow through more words together. 😉

  9. Sasha A. Palmer

    To me poetry is a great companion. It makes life so much richer. Or rather it teaches me to appreciate how rich and wonderful life is. Several years ago I found Robert’s Poetic Asides and discovered a whole new world – the amazing online community of poets and writers. I want to thank you all for the daily inspiration. In April and always.

  10. Jacqueline Casey

    Why is poetry important? I discovered poetry not in a college classroom or later, as an English teacher. I discovered poetry’s importance when I lost my beautiful granddaughter and there seemed no way to let go of the pain, so I began to write. I became a ‘poet’, innocently enough. I will be eighty this year and have been writing daily since I discovered sites such as your poetry blog about 3 years ago. Poetry is important; you are important, Robert.
    (I recently discovered my original write the week my grandchild died):
    Memories of Jacqueline Lee
    lie always in my soul
    Born on a February Day
    and only a few hours old.
    Born at a time when hearts
    are, often, known to embrace.
    Born with the still, small cupid’s mouth
    mid the valentines and the lace.
    Born to sing and dance and laugh
    often I see her smiling face
    the center of some paper heart
    mid the valentines and the lace.
    On Jacqueline’s grave lies a baby’s toy
    a gift from the heart of another;
    a gift to one, small sleeping child
    from the soft, gentle arms of her mother.
    Among many a pain-scarred poem
    the love is gently placed;
    her flower pressed among pages
    mid the valentines and the lace.
    (February 10, 1987)

  11. SeekingSoltitude

    Poetry for me is way to express my feelings, my current state, my insecurities, my pride and plunders. I am quite an introvert and frankly, saying what I feel is very difficult for me. With poems, I feel a special bond and it has always helped me get over sad days and weepy nights. My friends don’t appreciate poetry as much as me and it was very difficult to write in front of them because I start writing poems like doodling. But Competitions like the PAD”s give me confidence that my poems have a place in the world even though they don’t for some people. I never care if my poems are published or not, but the fact that i wrote it matters the most. Poetry is like punching a pillow to went out anger, its like the escape from reality though books are too.

  12. annell

    Now where did I get the idea you wanted us to write about the weather?

    About poetry….. it is a way to organize my thoughts, it always amazes me, what I am thinking…..I find out….. then I share it. I suppose I think someone will be as surprised as I am. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

  13. drwasy

    Robert, thank you for your very human post.

    I write poetry because it allows me to get to the point when I need to. Poetry also lets me circle around those things that scare the crap out of me, circling and circling until I can face what needs to be faced.

    Four years ago I think I wrote about my father and his death every day in April.

    Last spring, I wrote about my beautiful young son who had turned to dark thoughts about ropes and knives.

    Almost all my poems have a dark edge, and almost all are based on a truth I’ve experienced. Poetry lets me exorcise those truths, and hopefully, turn them into something others might resonate with, and maybe, a bit of beauty and illumination.

    Thank you for all you do, Robert. As you know, I write my poems in the Spring. With you and the rest of the April PAD group. Peace…

  14. Alphabet Architect

    I began writing poetry as a child as a way to express what I couldn’t say aloud. As an adult I went through a long spell during which I didn’t write at all. When I returned to writing several years ago it was like finding myself again. It has also worked as a salve, returning feeling to places in my soul that were nearly dead.

  15. seingraham

    Sylvia Plath once wrote:”I write only because/There is a voice within me/That will not be still.” When I started writing poetry I didn’t think it was like that for me, that I had to do it. But if I leave off writing too long, I start to get antsy and the only thing that works, the only thing that brings me back to myself with anything satisfactorily, is poetry. I’ve said before and I continue to think and say it: I write poetry because putting the words on the page or the screen is what keeps me tethered to reality. I write because I can and there are places in the world where it would cost me my life to express my opinion. In the end, I write because I must.

  16. Linda Lee Sand

    When I think of poetry I think “in the beginning was the Word” and not just in a strictly religious sense. But in the sense that poetry touches something that, although created with words, often transcends them. In such few words the universal becomes the personal and vice versa! Whoever said sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me, was covering up the truth. Words can break our hearts. And words can heal them. And the words of poetry, spare as they often are, can do both at the same time. That’s why I love it. (Not only that but a poem with great rhythm and the guts to “shut up and say something” is just IT, isn’t it?)

    Thank you for sharing, Robert and the PAD which I luckily and gratefully happened upon.

  17. PowerUnit

    I don’t claim to know anything about poetry. In fact, I almost pride myself in knowing virtually nothing about the craft. I now own a few poetry books – of poems and of craft. I can’t stand reading professional poetry (sorry Robert) and I am scared to explore the craft. I write mostly prose, and it makes me smile to claim I follow form as much as I can. I am faithful to Mr. Stanley Fish’s theology – You shall tie yourself to forms and the forms shall set you free. Except in poetry. My only form in poetry is the bomb. I find the kernel of inspiration, wrap it in all of the dynamite I can muster, and light the fuse. The words that land on my page astonish me, even the bad ones, but especially the good ones. Word explosions turn my Aprils and Wednesdays into days to look forward to and cherish. Five minutes, ten tops, strike the match and see what pops. And my poetry books remain hidden on the bottom shelf among my books on painting and calligraphy, the shelf of arts John will never master. I have too much hidden kernel to explore first.

  18. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Poetry is my getaway from the 9-to-5. I have to have something to look forward to. It is also my shrink. I can write something and even if it’s not good, it’s out of me and it’s so therapeutic. In addition, if a piece is half way decent, it is lovely to know you have created something.

  19. Janet Rice Carnahan

    The power of poetry is in just what you expressed, Robert! The healing qualities found in the written expression can erase any and all deeply buried pain and emotions to unearth a fresh new feeling and perspective. Like Norman Mailer once said, “I am just the secretary” as he just let the needed expression speak. Whether it is just our mind, emotions, heart, intelligence, soul or spirit, it is important that we hear it and not fear it. Writing about it can transform our life, quieter expression and ourselves into a much grander tapestry as we weave freshly found words over the feelings of the past! Poetry also lets us share aspects of ourselves we might not otherwise be willing to, or care to, share openly. Poetry is a gift and so are you! You give us that space and place to give voice to our unique expressions as you also share yours. Thank you, Robert!

  20. julie e.

    Poetry writing has been therapy for me since my childhood. It’s helped me get through some very raw places in my life, and even though I’m often dissatisfied with my results I’ve gotten some feelings down on the page. And I absolutely love the different voices of all the poets that show up for the PAD and for Wednesday prompts.

  21. Delaina Miller

    Thank you for writing this article Robert.

    I agree with you the value to poetry is priceless.

    For me poetry is decanting the soul. It is how we as feeling beings make sense out of the senseless, define speechless moments, say goodbye when we want to hold on, and live instead of exist. Priceless!

  22. Gwyvian

    Poetry is a way to express and begin to understand what goes on in ourselves and a guide to map the human condition that touches on the archetypes that exist in us all – but also, I think that a poet has the responsibility of expressing the intangible for those who neither understand nor can form words to work through these things – sometimes writing is the answer, but it must always be remembered that people will read your poetry, and hopefully gain something from it.
    My goal has always been an exploration of parts of life that I feel might be neglected in modern society, parts that fascinate me, and things neglected in the individual who is struggling with emotions and situations that is recognizably common to a lot of us. We’ve stopped sharing. We’ve stopped caring about what matters. A poet has a duty to kindle reflection, introspection and clarity, but also to stand for what has no voice without us: whether that is the virtues and vices of love, the value of sadness, the importance and weight of darkness in our souls, the path to finding balance, harmony and understanding of the world around us and inside us, or simply a statement that you, the reader, are not alone in all this turmoil and wonder.
    Poetry is also a tool to educate us of things that have gone wrong and right in humanity’s past, the prospects of the future and a divining of what’s really going on in the present – it allows with its abstract nature for readers to fill in the blanks and see a poem as applicable to their own lives, and that is like giving someone the formula to solve the problems they face.
    This is why I have always thought it something of a fool’s errand to constantly analyze poems to bits and pieces, making correlations to the poets life (I know from experience that I don’t need to be miserable to write a sad, dark poem) and making grand statements that this or that is what the poet wanted to say, period – speculation is good, sharing thoughts is good, but poetry cannot be pinned down, it is supposed to touch upon the unvoiced, the inexplicable and the deeply personal… sometimes another perspective is illuminating, but always poetry is written by and for the one who will experience it.

    In short, for me poetry is a quest of discovering the secrets of our existence, and it is that knowledge that I try sharing to the best of my ability using tools from both past and present – I make no claim that what I say is right or wrong: it is right for some and wrong for others. But I know what I feel, what draws me, fascinates me and inspires me, and these are the things that make me write poetry. This is the philosophy behind it at least, the justification of why I can’t stay away – on a personal level, it’s just as much of an experience I create for myself or examine in myself as it can be to others who take the time to digest it, and if even one person gets a kick out of it or finds resonance in it – or better yet, has questions about themselves explained through it – then it was worth sharing with the world.

  23. Amaria

    It is funny what passes for a housewife these days.
    Apparently you don’t need a ring or a new last name.
    You strut across our TVs playing the mean girl ferociously
    leaving me wondering if all this drama is true reality?
    Why must you bicker and call each other bitches?
    Do you think this persona makes you appear better?
    This isn’t about race or class, which some of you lack.
    Despite your lavish houses and cars and trips abroad
    you project a stereotype that hurts us all.
    I can no longer stop and gawk at this car crash.
    I am tuning out to this ridiculous trash.

  24. writinglife16


    What does poetry mean to me? It has started to mean a lot in different ways. I never wrote poetry. I wrote short stories. I took creative writing classes and wrote stories. Never attempted poetry. Verbally stated out loud that I couldn’t write poetry. That’ll block the flow, won’t it? 🙂 Until it decided it wouldn’t be blocked any more. Started with haikus, senryus and shadomas. Now I just write. Probably not very well, because I am not trained in it. But it has been a life line when life gets rough or I am bored or my never ending story idea just won’t come. It is necessary to me. 🙂

  25. Michael Wells

    Elegy to The Future and Past Work Weeks.

    Monday is always too early to go back
    to work, to have your shit together.

    Tuesday is Monday lite. Some residual
    fog but you find your way through somehow.

    Wednesday is a speed bump you push through
    but on the other side gravity takes hold.

    Thursday is the big M. Momentum day.
    You have gravity, your own energy
    and then you draft off the energy
    of your co-workers.

    Friday is like a runner’s cool down period.
    You let up a bit, some of that gravity still in play.
    Less of your own energy and no one to draft off of.
    Less energy, less effort, less interest—
    Weekend is coming.

  26. diedre Knight

    Had I not participated in this challenge (my first), I may never have realized the
    benefits of hanging my tear-stained pillow on the line, to refresh
    in the sunlight of like-minded souls. It’s been wonderful! Thank you,
    Robert. 🙂

  27. poetrycurator

    I am reminded of the great scene in Dead Poets Society

    “We don’t read and write poetry because its cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering; these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love these are what we stay alive for…to quote Whitman: The powerful play goes on and you contribute a verse.”


  28. elishevasmom

    Robert, when I first encountered PA, I truly felt like I had slipped down the proverbial rabbit hole. You have provided such a safe, supporting community for poets (both proven and aspiring). It is a family of writers, even though many have yet to come out about it. I, myself, am Bi-Polar, and poetry has more than once saved my life (literally). Nearly all of my life, I have felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. You have given me a family and a home.
    Know that any of my poetic successes that may come are a tribute to you.

  29. Sharon Ann

    Hi Robert,

    Poetry is a way for me to share my feelings and my views about what I see in the world. It does help me in grappling with my feelings at times. Like you, I have seen my poetry have an effect on others. It is a moving experience to know that the words I have shared have helped someone else in their process.

    Thanks for hosting the Poem A Day. It is a challenge that takes me to topics and titles I would not usually work with in my daily life. I spend a good part of my day hearing the views and thoughts of others. I have not yet had anyone talk to me at work about a Sestina! The challenge helps me to loosen up creatively as I get ready to work intensively on my next book.

  30. Clark Buffington

    Poetry is something I was forced to do in a college creative writing course. I despised writing of all kinds in high school and this class, even run as poorly as it was, showed me there was joy in writing.

    This was when I penned a few poems mainly about my family and love poems to my wife. There is something emotionally powerful about a poem written in honesty that bares the writer’s truth.

    Now at age 40 I am attempting to write and poetry was not my idea but I was having difficulty sitting down and doing it when I came across PAD on your blog. I am truly grateful I did because while I have no clue if any of what I’ve written this month so far is any “good” its freed my imagination and let me put emotion into my writing.

    PAD has also exposed me to some truly talented poets leaving gifts for the rest of us. After a couple of days I went to scribophile and joined two poetry groups of supportive people who love poetry and this is world I hope I never leave.

    Poetry to me is unlike other writing and is a way to express myself letting emotion flow and reading what other poets have written is like sharing someones emotions vicariously which is a wonderful way to share.

    I doubt I will ever be published and have no clue about the “forms” or “styles” of poems but the emotion is wonderful to see, read, and feel.

    Poetry is important to the world when the world let’s it in and when poets let it out, regardless of any dollar signs involved although I do hope some poets can make a living with their sweat and tears.

  31. lionetravail

    In mathematical terms, it may be reasonable to consider the value of poetry is equal to the work multiplied by quality, the same as for any form of artistic expression. As but one example, Faberge eggs are exquisite creations showcasing talent, but are they of any practical value besides their base material, other than as an expression of their artist?

    Interestingly, work can be solved for as energy over time. Even quality can be solved for in probabilistic terms, based on initial conditions and inputs, via quadratic equations. (Certainly in water quality, so why not in poetry? http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1490&context=water_rep)

    Therefore it should be possible to say that the amount of energy spent by any artist, based on a variable level of quality throughout the work effort and for the amount of time invested in that effort, should easily predict the value of poetry.

    And, if you have no way to see the value of poetry other than the semi-facetious mathematical construct presented above, then you desperately need some poetry in your sould.

  32. cbwentworth

    When I was a little girl, I sat outside and wrote horrible poetry about all the little things I saw around me – the birds, trees, rocks, etc. For a child who always felt out of place and overwhelmed with constant change, writing gave me a place to be still and find some peace. Why I gave it up for most of my teens and twenties, I’ll never know.

    A few years back, I found my old poetry journals and was reminded of how much poetry meant to my soul. I picked up my pen and started writing, again. My poetry isn’t anything special or highly technical, but rather representative of something poetry taught me many years before. Life is about the little things. A few short lines and here and there remind to keep my focus on the things that matter most. In a world that moves so fast and life that often gets cluttered, poetry gives me a reason to spend some time admiring the petals of a flower or laughing at the funny things my dog does when he thinks I’m not looking. That’s gold.

  33. DanielR

    Thanks for sharing the letter and your own personal stories. For me poetry is a beautiful thing because it is about truth. I view poetry as a chance to share my raw, honest emotions (my truth) and to read about others as they reveal themselves and their perspectives.

    Really enjoy the blog and am having a great time participating in the PAD challenge.

    Daniel Roessler

  34. JanetRuth

    Poetry is a brush dipped in words painting pictures only thought can see. It’s imagery exclusive to the reader and its canvas endless. Poetry is the most arousing form of writing in the world. it reaches, teaches, awes, inspires.
    Also I love that a blog is never forced on anyone. Visitors come of their own accord and all we poets hope for is to touch them in a way that only poetry can do. If someone doesn’t ‘get it’ it was not meant for them.

    I love Poetics Aside. I am a fearful writer but reading so many styles and topics teaches me so much. Thank-you Robert for being a teacher to ‘students’ like myself and organizing a community to stretch and encourage us:)

  35. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Dear Robert,
    This is my tenth PAD and I can’t imagine not writing during April and November. Writing during April reminds me of how blessed I was to have a mother who read me poetry as a child, reciting it by heart and introducing me, not only to the American classics (Whitman, Frost, Dickinson, Millay, etc.), but also international poets (Rumi, Gibran, etc.). The November PAD is my way of giving thanks for the gift of writing, which I inherited through a long line of gifted writers that can be traced back to the original O’Riordans ( meaning, The King’s Bard, literally!).

    Why is poetry important to me? To me, poetry is a life-saver thrown into the waters of dysfunction. Poetry has kept me sane, washed my wounds, nourished my soul and enlightened my mind. Sharing poetry, teaching poetry, writing and reading poetry is part of my daily life. I can’t imagine ever leaving it behind.

    Thanks seems so inadequate a word when it comes to giving appreciation to someone for providing a means to have a voice, when the world around you tries to mute your opinion, but, Thank YOU for all that you do to help promote poetry, and for giving so many of us the opportunity to be heard. Blessings!

  36. Cameron Steele

    Robert. Thank you so much for this and for everything that you do. Your blog was what initially encouraged me to write poetry as a way to express what newspapers left out, and I turned to this blog over and over again to help me work through some of the awful things I saw on the job as a public safety reporter. This blog and the loving feedback from the community here over the years are two of the biggest reasons I felt courageous enough to leave journalism, to apply to MFA programs in poetry this fall, and to cross my fingers that the gamble would pay off. And it did! I start as a fully-funded poetry grad student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall and I am so indebted to you, Poetic Asides and the community here for that. I am a better person for the poetry I read here and elsewhere and my own attempts to dabble in it. So thank you!!

  37. LCaramanna

    Thank you, Robert, for your poetry expertise and enthusiasm. Never doubt the value of your time spent and the impact you have on writers and readers!

    Free from the constraints of capitalization and punctuation,
    claims supported by evidence from the text,
    quote sandwiches and conclusions linked to the thesis statement,
    poetry allows emotions to free fall from inspiration
    and alight as printed words on a page.
    Meant to intrigue, entertain, ponder, persuade or inform,
    poems speak loud and clear, or soft and gentle,
    with a little humor, or maybe anger, threaded throughout.
    That’s what I tell my middle school students as I encourage them to poem!
    And that’s why poems are my vehicle in motion.

    Vehicle in Motion

    People travel life’s highway
    in vehicles that suit needs,
    or wants,
    or wallets,
    giving in when the price is right, though the color lacks luster
    and the engine is powerless.

    People I pass on the highway appear
    picture book families in minivans waving at busloads of
    characters with flawless traits wondering what’s so funny as
    comedy humors an economy sedan while
    drama develops in the chauffeured limousine
    following a short distance behind the funeral hearse.
    The plot thickens when
    adventure rides shotgun in an SUV desperate to outrun the
    sci-fi thriller, leaving the environmentalist,
    setting a good example on a bicycle,
    in the dust,
    only to get stuck in traffic on the GWB.

    People on life’s highway
    discover me,
    writing of freedom in a sleek, shiny, silver Porche Cabriolet,
    daring, running wild, top down
    powerful, precise, profound, purposely punctuated!
    metaphorically driving my vehicle in motion

  38. PressOn

    I can’t sing, but poetry gives me a chance to think I can.

    This is a good chance for me to thank you too, Robert. This experience you provide is akin to an orchestra, as far as I am concerned.

    Bill Preston

  39. Julieann

    Poetry is something I’ve messed around with for years – way too many years. And truthfully, I wouldn’t say I am any more accomplished now than when I wrote the first ones in high school. I so enjoy this blog, and you, because you push me and encourage me to search out forms and ideas I deny myself otherwise. Poetry is very personal, and I am not a person that will share the personal – so that sets up a conflict between what I would like to produce and what I actually manage to get down on paper. For those who allow themselves, poetry (or any of the arts) is a very creative outlet; for others it is a dream of something you wish for, long for, and maybe wishfully envision, but are so inhibited that you will not allow yourself the freedom of expression. Therefore, I participate in the PADs and most of the weekly prompts. In my case, I don’t think it is the quality of the writing that matters, but it is actually the fact that I give it a try – and sometimes, just sometimes – something semi-decent comes out! Thank you.

  40. Debbie

    Dabbling in poetry has allowed me to express myself in ways I would not do normally. Whether personal, for someone, or general, the readings are definitely not what I would typically communicate in other ways.


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