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Prompt #129 I write (because)…

October 25, 2012


I write (because)…

an introspection into why we write

We Write Poems:
Moving from two weeks of externalized observation, this week we’re asking for some elemental introspection.  Every writer has some experience of their writing process that can address the question – why do you write?  Maybe you did or didn’t have an understanding what writing meant for you when you first began, however by now there’s some history gained that surely has a perspective here – why you write, how you write, how writing relates to your place in this life.  We are asking you to look within your greater experience and enumerate in a poem how you’d say…

I write (because)…

The (because) being any statement that feels true for you.  Please use the form of a “list poem” to write your poem response.

To provide some illustration, here follows some (poetic) responses written by an excellent and well published writer.  (While she mostly writes prose, as you can read, her writing has a strong poetic quality.)

Selected excerpts from a manifesto, by author Terry Tempest Williams
in a book on ‘Creative Non-Fiction’.

I write to create fabric in a world that often appears black and white.
I write to discover.  I write to uncover.  I write to meet my ghosts.  I write to begin a dialogue.
I write in a solitude born out of community.
I write to the questions that shatter my sleep.  I write to the answers that make me complacent.
I write as an act of faith.  I write as an act of slowness.
I write as one who walks on the surface of a frozen river beginning to melt.
I write because I believe in words.
I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in
I write with a knife, carving each word from the generosity of trees.
I write for the surprise of a sentence.
I write knowing I will always fail.  I write knowing words always fall short.
I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.

As you can witness from this example your responses can be more literal and more imaginative, both.  This is a poem after all.  We hope you discover more about why and how you write, and we’d love to hear your result!

Come back to leave a link to your poem next Wednesday when you see our second follow-up post called, It’s Post Your Poems Day!  If you have questions about We Write Poems and our prompt-and-poem process, or if you are new here at WWP, please read our about page.

  1. October 25, 2012 2:19 pm

    Yummy prompt. Thanks Neil.

  2. October 31, 2012 6:06 am

    My poem “If I didn’t write

  3. November 2, 2012 8:21 am

    Well, I started writing poems to pass on to girls, when I was in college… 🙂

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