Chapter 1. Why Read and Write Poetry

The first chapter of Sage Cohen’s book sets the scene by discussing the various reasons why people would want to read and write poetry.

I enjoy writing poetry.  It is a very pleasant activity.  I enjoy it as much as I enjoy reading and hearing poetry too.  It’s as much fun writing it as it is reciting it.  I can have fun with poetry and I can say serious stuff with poetry.  And that’s about the size of it.

The first chapter also features a lovely story from Sage’s life; she was teaching poetry at a hospital and described the effect that poetry had on the patients.

Other patients in my ward.  I found this photo on

 I was a patient at Prince of Wales last year when I was diagnosed with diabetes.  I considered her story and wrote the poem Hospital Nocturnal.  When I read the poem to a friend she thought I was the idiot who tore of the cannula and tried to leave.  No.  I was the idiot trying to get to sleep.  I also complained quietly to the nurse.  Thankfully I was moved to another room the next day.

The first draft of the poem had a concluding stanza that was sort of related.  I excised it and created a new poem Fast-Food Hospital  which was put up last week.

Since the first chapter is about reasons why to read and write poetry, I’d like to ask you to tell me your reasons.  Feel free to leave a comment below.



2 thoughts on “Chapter 1. Why Read and Write Poetry

  1. I don't write poetry but I enjoy reading it. When reading prose fiction, the author usually provides a lot of surface detail which provides a picture in my head. When reading a poem, the author provides words that may not be grammatically correct, or even very detailed, but evokes many levels of imagery, understanding and emotion. It leaves it to me, the reader, to 'read' the meaning within the words, whereas prose fiction generally lays it out for me.


  2. Thank you 🙂 That is very true. Poetry is a great way to create both a shared experience and an individual experience at the same time. The way we understand poetry is great because an individual's reaction reflects the individual in as much as the poem originally reflected the poet.


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