A few weeks ago, I posted about “Why I Write Poetry” and encouraged others to share their thoughts, stories, and experiences for future guest posts. I’ve already received so many, and I hope they keep coming in (details on how to contribute below). Thank you!
Today’s “Why I Write Poetry” post comes from Stuart Peacock, who says, “All in all, I write poetry because if I didn't, my brain would have dissolved into a pile of goo under the weight of all the unexpressed words a long time ago.”
Stuart Peacock is an avid reader of literature and has been writing in some form or another since he was six years old. He was raised in Clacton-on-Sea, UK, and went on to receive a BA in English Literature at the University of Essex. He now works supporting individuals with autism, still writing whenever he can spare the time. His first collection of poems, The Awakening, is currently available in both paperback and e-book formats on Amazon. His favorite fiction writer is Margaret Atwood, and favorite poets include Baudelaire, Keats, Shelley, and Blake.
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Why I Write Poetry: Stuart Peacock
I've always found myself drawn to reading poetry–whether the poem is delivering a deeply serious message, or simply a lighthearted laundry list of words arranged in such a way to make people laugh. Deciphering the meaning behind more mystic, cryptic poems is also something I find enjoyable–as if I'm cracking the poet's secret code and being let into the state of mind that produced those stirring words.
As well as reading it, writing poetry was something I just naturally found myself doing from a young age. In the broadest sense, I suppose one reason I write poetry is it acts as a sort of therapy, a necessary release of the thoughts constantly whirring in my brain, be they good or bad.
Anxiety is something I have always struggled with in my day-to-day life, and sometimes the dreaded black dog of depression rears his ugly head as well. Writing poetry allows me to give shape and form to this inner turmoil, which gives me the freedom to break away from it once it's there on paper in black and white. Not that I only write on exclusively negative feelings.
Sometimes I feel in a cheeky mood and write something that pokes fun at the ridiculousness of everyday life. Other times, the words spark from a fond memory, or people and places encountered in my life will provide the theme. I suppose when you come right down to it, it's simply a compulsion in my mind, the writer's instinct–I have to write these thoughts down and arrange them into their appropriate rhythm (it probably helps that I am a sucker for wordplay and alliteration as well).
I also want others to read my work and enjoy the words for themselves–and find their own meaning from it, even if it's one I hadn't necessarily intended. That is the great thing about poetry: One pair of eyes can view the words one way, while another may see them completely different.
If I know someone found the poem relatable, or it has spoken to them in some way, I really do get a very warm feeling and sense of accomplishment. Conversely, if someone can't figure out just what the hell I'm even talking about, at least I've got them thinking–frustration and befuddlement are perfectly valid responses as well!
All in all, I write poetry because if I didn't, my brain would have dissolved into a pile of goo under the weight of all the unexpressed words a long time ago. Poetry is a much needed channeling of all the constant chattering in my head, and once it's down on paper, they are my words. I did that. And that is one of the best feelings in the world.
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.