TheLastBhramhin asked C.J. Heck:

Hi CJ, Why do you write poetry? What encouragements you had growing up that propelled you to this art? Thanks TheLastBrahmin

C.J. Heck Hello "The Last Brahmin" -- Thank you for writing to me and for your question.

A friend once asked me why I write poetry ...

She had a creepy look on her face that told me she secretly equated writing poetry with juggling snakes, or worse, licking a germy fly swatter. Well, maybe the look on her face wasn't quite that bad, but her expression did remind me of someone sucking on a lemon.

I don't know why poetry gets such a bad rap. I write fiction, non-fiction, flash fiction, memoirs, essays, and three blogs, and I can tell you honestly that poetry is much harder to write.

When you write most anything else, you have a lot of leeway -- pages and pages in which to tell a story. Not so when writing poetry. A poem has to be condensed, without straying from the main theme, and it also usually has a beginning, middle and end.

I can only speak for myself, but I'm reasonably sure other poets would understand and agree. Maybe they can't explain the 'why they write it' any better than I, but they can certainly understand the love for writing poetry.

A poet writes poetry because they love poetry. It is a challenge -- and not everyone can do it.

While I'm convinced writing poetry is not a disease, it could be called an addiction -- and with no twelve-step program for recovery.

Based on my friend's question, I asked myself, "Why DO I write poetry?" In all honesty, I have to say ... I can't NOT write poetry. If that is an addiction, then I enjoy my addiction. In fact, I love it.

I probably should have explained to my friend that for me to hold back a poem would be like trying to hold in a sneeze. When I finally let out, it just feels good. Again, other poets would understand.

I simply told my friend that there are thoughts and ideas down inside that I have to get out. They're uncomfortable where they are.

I told her to think of it like having a mosquito bite you can't quite reach. When you finally find someone to scratch it, it just feels good.

But Geez-Louise, I've got to make this short. I feel a poetic sneeze coming on and it's gonna feel so good when I finally let it out ... (giggle)

Thanks again for your question, "The LastBrahmin".
Warmest regards,

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