I believe if you ask most poets why they write, they will say “Because I have to”. I’m also a musician, and it’s the same – I MUST practice and play music! It’s who I am.
When a poem comes to me, it’s as if I fall into a kind of “trance” – every bit of my mind goes somewhere else, as the images/visuals, emotions, and words whirl around and form into coherent phrases. I let myself relax and allow the poem to come together. Sometimes it happens while driving, and I have to pull over, so that I don’t lose the words – lol! I’ve been driving and had a poem form, and if I couldn’t pull over, I just repeated the words over and over until I could stop to write them down. This is why I have pen and paper everywhere!
However, the ideal situation is when I am able to grab the paper and pen, and let the words flow out onto the page. This is when the best poems form – uninterrupted. They spill out, pure and straight from inspiration and instinct. These are the poems that require very little editing. They come from what many people call “being a state of flow”. It’s a thrill to write these! It’s magic.
I do write poems that I work on quite a bit – these are my “sculptures”: I chip away the stone to reveal the form underneath.
And just as in music, where you need to listen to and study music in order to improve your own playing and performance, I have to read poems in order to write them, as well as study the various forms and techniques.
It’s a labor of love : ) I’m honored to have these art forms move through me, and to produce them with passion and a great deal of joy!