Skip to main content

Why I Write Poetry: JR Simmang

A few months 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 JR Simmang, who writes of poetry, “In short, it's like having a teenager.”

JR Simmang has an eclectic mix of knick-knacks lining the walls of his house in Austin, TX. His pride and joy are his daughter and wife, respectively, who support his writing habits and his teaching career. His poems have appeared online and in the 2015 Poet's Market.

*****

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: JR Simmang

To be completely honest, poetry has never been a good friend. It has abandoned me with an empty tank on the side of the road. It has eaten my last slice of birthday cake. It has locked me out of my house. It's one of the reasons I stay up at night or wake up early. 

In short, it's like having a teenager. 

 JR Simmang

JR Simmang

You spend all this time nurturing it, feeding it with a spoon, taking it to the bathroom, brushing its hair, and in the end, it slams your face in its door and winds up doing what it wants anyway.

But, it's yours. And, no matter what happens, in the end, you'll still invite it over for Thanksgiving.

That's the relationship I've always had with poetry, and, despite it, I've grown to love it. I started officially writing poetry in middle school as a joke with my friends. The joke wound up being on me, because I couldn't stop. I kept my journal with me, and two pens tucked into my pocket, everywhere I went. Two pens, in case one of them spontaneously exploded or got secreted away in a waiter's billfold.

As most good things do, my poetry writing slipped in college. I think it was because I sometimes fell asleep in the library. After I met my wife, she reminded me of all the things I used to put in my notebook, and like an old friend, poetry showed back up on my doorstep. 

I pound my head against the wall, tear up pages upon pages of paper, fill notebooks, and I do it for the same reason I raise my child. I write poetry because I know that despite all the heartache and the questions about whether or not I'm doing the right thing, I eagerly anticipate the beauty that comes when it's finished. I write poetry because I don't want to miss the first steps, the first hugs, the first I love yous. I write because, well, otherwise I wouldn't. And that simply won't do.

*****

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:

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

From having reverence for the original to making it your own, author Nikki Payne shares four tips for writing a modern retelling.

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use faint vs. feint in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples. Plus, we answer whether it's "faint of heart" or "feint of heart."

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter | Book Recommendations

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter

Here are 6 book recommendation perfect for winter reading.

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch shares 12 things all writers should consider when attempting to write effective fight scenes in fiction.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character turn out to be less than they seem.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 15th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Author Valeria Ruelas discusses the process of writing her new book, The Mexican Witch Lifestyle.

What Is the Hook, the Book, and Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

What Is the Hook, the Book, and the Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

Find out what "the hook, the book, and the cook" are in relation to writing query letters and pitching books to literary agents and book editors. This post answers the question of what each one is and how to successfully assemble the pieces.

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Author Chloe Liese makes a case for the romance genre being the natural home for retellings, and shares some tips on how to write a successful romance retelling of literary classics.