“Why I Write Poetry” [guest poem and commentary]

Guest post by my friend and colleague Ginge Sivigny. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of this website.

Author’s Note from Ginge:

Over the years I found myself writing poems to capture meaningful experiences, the same way my husband would be taking photographs of our travels.  I retired in 2015 to take care of our youngest grandson, and a year later my husband died.  One of the smartest things I did was to enroll right away in OLLI, the Osher Life Long Learning Institute at George Mason University.  

Among my favorite classes is a course called “So You Wanna Be a Poet.” We meet once a week (26 times a year).  The instructors spend 20 minutes introducing a theme, a form, a poem or a poet, and then give us a prompt.  We have 20 minutes to write a poem, then spend about 30 minutes sharing and critiquing each other’s poems. My “Why I Write Poetry” was one of those exercises.  

Even more precious than the opportunity (challenge) to refine my ability to express myself through poetry, is the opportunity to belong to a wonderful, warm, caring community of people who share and expand my love of poetry.  In the “off” weeks we meet to discuss our favorite poems written by poets we admire.  Priceless!   

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Ginge Sivigny is a 77-year-old woman living in Northern Virginia, grateful to be close enough to Washington to be able to participate in advocacy on national issues.  But her primary activism is on the state and local level.  Ginge is pictured here at Joy Harjo’s dance party on the steps of the Library of Congress on May 2, 2022, celebrating the end of Harjo’s three-year tenure as Poet Laureate.  

Photo credit: siaronj on VisualHunt

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