Behind the verse: Six Monitor poets share why they write poetry

One of the joys of poetry is that a verse can be whatever the reader needs it to be in that moment. But the birth of a poem can be just as personal for the poet. The Monitor reached out to six contributing poets on why they write, what inspires them, and why poetry is relevant today. Each poet has also left us a gift of original poetry. As contributor Richard Schiffman says, “In an era of instant communication, poetry slows us down, tells us to step back and take time to relish the words, to smell the flowers, to more fully inhabit our lives.” 


Karen Norris/Staff

I started writing poetry when I was 12 years old. As a child, I loved reading poetry, but to discover that I could also write it was liberating, a way to try to express my deepest longings and feelings. It was also a way to use my imagination, to be who I had not yet become. In the first poem I ever wrote, “The Empty House,” I imagined myself an old woman whose husband had died and whose grown children were long gone but the house still echoed with the sound of their remembered footsteps, and their love. Poetry teaches me that there are always fresh and surprising ways to both see and experience all that life holds.

The Empty House

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