Why I Write Poetry: Sasha A. Palmer

Author:
Publish date:

Several 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 Sasha A. Palmer, who shares her experience of learning English, poetry, and the word "longing."

Sasha A. Palmer is a Russian-born poet, writer, and translator who lives in Baltimore, MD. Her work has appeared in Writer's Digest, e-Books India, and Slovo/Word among other online and print publications. Her poem "Storytelling" won first prize and The Most Powerful Piece title in the international poetry contest The Loneliness Project in 2016. Her English translation of Bella Akhmadulina's poem "To Boris Messerer" won third prize in the international translation contest Compass Award in 2016. Sasha has a thing for the word "amateur" and tries to follow the motto she has created: Live for the Love of it.

*****

Master Poetic Forms!

Image placeholder title

Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works. Discover a new universe of poetic possibilities and apply it to your poetry today!

Click to continue.

*****

Why I Write Poetry: Sasha A. Palmer

 Sasha A. Palmer

Sasha A. Palmer

"Practice the word longing," a phonetics teacher teased me, "What if you want to say to your boyfriend I'm longing for you and you cannot pronounce it?" "Why would I ever want to say something like that in English?" I fired back.

The exchange happened many moons ago, when I was old, and wise, and knew everything. I was sure I would never have a foreigner for a boyfriend. I was convinced I would never live anywhere but Russia. I knew for a fact I disliked poetry.

Fast-forward some years. Born and raised in Moscow I find myself across the Pond in Baltimore, MD with my very American husband and our two Russian-American kids. And—surprise!—I write poetry. In Russian and English.

I write poetry, because it helps me connect. Poetry is my bridge to things that are real, as well as made real through my imagination.

Think of the Dot-to-Dot books with pages and pages filled with hundreds upon hundreds of numbered dots that make no sense. You find dot #1 and dot #2 and you draw a line that connects them. You do the same with dots #2 and #3, and so on, and so on…until—voilà!—the meaningless dots become an image of an exquisite flower, or a strong eagle, or a handsome lion with an unruly mane. You see them, because you've connected the dots.

My memories, thoughts, dreams, all these weird twists and turns of life would be a bunch of dots to me — if not for poetry. It helps me connect the dots and see the infinite and infinitely wonderful picture they are part of.

I know very little, but I do know a couple of things. I'll always write poetry. I'll always have a Russian accent. I'll always practice the word longing.

*****

If you’d like to share why you write poetry, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com 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.

*****

Find more poetic posts here:

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Christina Wyman discusses how for children who suffer difficult family dynamics, seeing their experiences reflected in books is few and far between.

the island

The Island

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, build yourself an island.

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed discusses how his personal experiences acted as the impetus for his new book, Radiant Fugitives, and how it went from novella to novel.

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

There's nothing funny about learning when to use comedy and comity (OK, maybe a little humor) with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Debut author Shugri Said Salh discusses how wanting to know her mother lead her to writing her coming-of-age novel, The Last Nomad.

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

Does your manuscript need a little more definition, but you’re not sure where to begin? Try these 100 tips to give your words more power.

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson discusses how she never gave up on her story, how she worked through internal doubts, and how research lead her out of romance and into historical fiction.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Seven New Courses, Writing Prompts, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new courses, our Editorial Calendar, and more!

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson discusses how each project has its own process and the difference between writing fiction and her new memoir, Perfect Black.