Recently I went to the last Yarra Glen readings for the year. Hosted by Sandy Jeffs, it is a fun night and great chance to see poetry up close and personal. The feature poet was Carmel Macdonald Grahame, who took us back to the reality and grit of the 1950's. An interesting look at nostalgia and truth.

What I've enjoyed from these readings, apart from seeing a wonderful range of poets and poetry, is the question and answer session that is held afterwards. It gives the audience a chance to ask the poet questions. Often deep and thought provoking questions that have led to some really interesting discussions.

I mean how often do you get the chance to ask what prompted that poem / why that form / where do you write / how do you write / how many edits do you do / where do you get your inspiration / what support do you have / do you have a cold reader etc etc.

Some poets are inspired by their surroundings.

By nature and all its depths. They try to capture a moment of pure beauty.

Others are inspired by a person, a conversation, overhead dialogue, an event, and as with Carmel even a period of time.

Some poets have been political....others laid back, very mung beans, peace and happiness.

Poets have captured a part of the human psyche, or attempted to put their childhood into some kind of perspective.

Some poets inspired by love have created tomes of purity and lust....of longing and joy.

Others after an intense breakup have written dark and sharp.

Others are inspired by their surroundings....

whether it's urban or rural, country or city.

But one of the great questions to ask...is why?

Why do you write poetry?

Why do you write?

Why did you write that poem...yes you were inspired by love / hate / dark/ light / friendship / childhood / memories / political shenanigans / sights / sounds....... but why write it?

And that is such a difficult question to answer.

Why do we do it?  Some have offered up that it's a form of therapy- a way of trying to create normality out of the chaos of their lives.
Others want to be able to share what they have felt.
Others want to open minds---let others see what they have seen.
Some want to reveal truths---some want to play with words- some want to scrape at their skin and discover what lies beneath.

It really is an interesting question to ask others that write- but also yourself.



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