On writing poetry

Is there a way to know how or when or even why to write poetry?

There are of course people, mostly of authority, who strongly believe in rules, regulations, types and patterns; classical, romantic, modern, modernist, postmodernist, colonial, postcolonial, good, bad … but aren’t those just descriptors? Classifications made from the basic human desire to understand everything by putting label on it? Neatly placing it all into clearly designated drawers. Counted, analysed, understood, stored. Finished.

Only poetry does not really fit into any classifications, no matter how hard we try to squeeze it there.

Poetry flies like a kite over our heads on the brilliant summer sky, daring us to run ever faster, ever freer, ever longer. And just when we decide to pull the kite down, it snaps, the cord breaks and we are left earthed to our spot, surprised and wondering. Mortal and expiratory. Longing for kite’s shiny colours, for waterfall of laughs it made us make while swirling around, so close to sun, so far from earth.

So no matter what you do, abandon the rules. Do not even bother to break them. To break them you need to learn them first. Do not waste time. Your time is limited. Our time is limited.

Just write; open your chest and rip your heart out. Then hold it in your hand like a sacrificial worrier for all to see. Prostrate yourself before the cold altar of all those that came before you. Write your poems … feel your human heart.

When To Write Poetry

When your breasts are heavy and full from longing
For your lost lover,
Write poetry.

When small child cries from hunger
Somewhere in West Africa
And you can hear it
Wherever you are
Because you and the child are connected through
Antediluvian umbilical cord of humanity,
Write poetry.

When midnight finds you crying, drunk on memories and
Cheap wines,
When your husband is leaving you for a woman half your age,
When your teenage son sells his body for a heroine hit,
When you can’t remember last time somebody whispered your name in loving embrace,
Write poetry.

When your hands grew still and dry
Like autumn leaves in winter wind
Fragile and useless
Only left there by chance
With nothing to do,
Write poetry.

There is nothing you can do.

It is all you can do.


Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

3 thoughts on “On writing poetry”

  1. Mmmm. What about,
    When you are filled with joy at your child’s new step
    write poetry?
    And- I have tried formal verse, and some just seems to fit meter. Trying to fit the rules restricts the choices of words and the amount of space I have to express my thought, and the restriction can stimulate my creativity.


    1. Dear Clare,

      Thank you so much for visiting my fledgling blog, I am truly grateful you did -:)! Of course we should write poetry when filled with joy at our child’s new step, or first school day, or any other joyful event in our lives … it is just that the author (me -:) of this particular poem, on that particular day felt the way it spilled over into the verses. Perhaps not much joy has come to pass her way.

      And I can understand that the structure of formal verses can serve as stimulator. What I meant to convey was – if, to truly feel your human heart, rules (any rules) need to be broken, or abandoned – do it!

      Thank you,


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