Why Write Poetry?

My neighbor asked me this when at the mailbox we happened to meet,
“What’s this I hear about you getting weird and writing poetry nowadays?
Starting so late, you’ll never be great! Is it simply some kinda phase?”
I replied “I’ve never really thought about why poetry writing is such a treat.”

“Are you doing it to make a lot of money or to attract a lot of fame?
Is it an ego trip - the desire to see your name on Internet and in print?”
A smile came to my face. “Poetry is definitely not the key to any mint.
I am confident my finances and fame will each remain just the same.

Ego IS part of it. Creating a well-written phrase, much less an entire line,
is difficult to do, and, if done successfully, is quite pleasing to the mind.
But, I’ve seen my name in print regularly for more than thirty-five years.
To me, it’s to be able to touch someone, bringing them smiles or tears.

Most people never have a chance to share their true thoughts and feelings.
A poet gets to reveal his mind, heart, and soul to both friend and stranger.
Letting others see the product of your creativity is downright appealing,
although receiving harsh criticism in return is constantly a danger.

Sharing my poems is a way to let the world peek inside my true nature.
Each contains a snippet of the humor, compassion, wit from my mind.
Years from now, about me my great-grandkids won’t have to conjecture,
because reading my poems will be a gift to them that I have left behind."

Harry Edward Gilleland      1.11.02    printer friendly