Challenge of Writing Happy Poems


I’ve recently found myself in a few conversations about happiness and poetry. More specifically about whether I plan to write poetry about happier things.

Coincidentally, just before that, I’d been thinking about why I write poetry. It all began with the thought about how I wrote a blog post about claiming titles. Calling yourself an author instead of a writer, or even worse an aspiring writer, and how that can cripple your confidence. And here, I won’t call myself a poet, even though I’ll soon have more pieces of poetry than any other type of writing. And I’m certain I’ve published more poetry on this site than anything else. (Although, if we’re strictly speaking word count, I have written more horror than anything else, but they’re longer works that are not yet finished.)

This line of thought led me to wonder why I write poetry. There are many reasons. I love the imagery that can be created, and the emotion that can be conveyed in a short space. More than that, I have found that it is a way for me to work through things. Usually grief and sometimes fear.

I began contemplating why I don’t write about happier things. So when I ended up in conversations about that very thing, I already had an answer. I’m not distressed about being happy, so there’s nothing to work through. Sometimes I try to end my poems with a bit of hope, with the idea that maybe it will push me in the direction of a place in my life where grief is replaced with happy memories. I sometimes hope that if I get all my grief out on paper, one day, I’ll sit to write a poem and find that the grief is all out of my system. Maybe then I’ll write poems about happier things.

I have less control over my poetry than I have over other forms of writing. I haven’t been able to force a poem out. When a poem comes to me, it comes urgently and it comes quickly.

Perhaps one day, my intent will not be to recover from what’s happened, but to preserve my memories, and I think that will be the time when I write happier poems.



What are the reasons you write poetry or whatever genre that you write? Do you find certain limitations to how and what you write in different genres?



  1. // Reply

    I totally get where you’re coming from, Mandie. I often get asked why I only write horror fiction…my elderly neighbour even expressed her utmost disappointment that I wouldn’t try penning a bit of light-hearted romance when she asked. But I find, for me, when I’m dealing with the more negative aspects of life it gives me more writing fuel and I’m able to inject more emotion. I’m not a particularly mopey, unhappy person in the flesh, I swear, haha…I just find that writing about sad/fearful/horrible things allows me to put these things in a ‘box’. It’s definitely my way of dealing with stuff.

    1. // Reply

      Yes! I have different reasons for writing different genres too. I love horror because I love exploring the unknown. I like the unexpected, and so for horror I write the story I want to read, and I know what I find scary, so it explores those areas.

  2. // Reply

    Mandie, this is a very thought provoking post. It has made me think about why I write what I do. My novel is a cozy mystery, because that is primarily what I like to read. I love to solve the mystery puzzle and when you write a mystery you get to create the puzzle. For years I have kept a journal, more to remember the events of my life, but there has always been the special joural. The pretty one, the one I often write in using calligraphy. This is where I write verse or prose, maybe some of it could be called poetry. These pieces, I now realize, were written to capture special snapshots in time. They paint a picture with words and are meant to capture feelings.

    Cameras used to be expensive, and you never new if the picture would come out. There were many years I didn’t own a camera, so I took to writing verse to capture some beauty that I saw in nature, or some feeling, or experience I didn’t want to forget.

    Then there were the secrets. I didn’t always feel safe, or that I had privacy. Some of my prose was written about one thing, say a storm, but it was really about my anger at a real person. I have one short piece about a raven that is actually about a handsome dark-eyed man I had a crush on!

    The beauty of writing is that as writers we can chose what to write and however many hidden meanings we wish to weave in.

    Thanks for challenging us to think about writing in different ways. The great works always have a theme and much thought put into them, so it is important for us to be challenged to think about what we write and why.

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    Thank you for sharing, Mandie. I can relate especially where you said that you have less control over your poetry. It is the same for me and my writing. I can’t just sit down and say that I’m going to write something; it has to come to me. I write poetry whenever it comes and it is the same as my drawing. I am not a fan of the romance genre, but I found out that I write it best although I like exploring all genres.

    1. // Reply

      A very insightful comment, Christy. I liked the idea of capturing moments in writing. The veiled writing to work through emotions is of course quite familiar to me. It reminded me of why people read as well. I wish I could remember who said it so I could put it here, but I once read that most people believe that readers read to escape the world, but they in fact read to confront it.
      So much can be learned and revealed in fiction, which is one of the things I love about it.
      Thank you for sharing, Christy. I really enjoyed reading your comment. Your comments always make me feel encouraged and happy I shared a part of my writing life.

    2. // Reply

      Isn’t it funny how we sometimes stumble into our genres.
      I suspect there is a way to get a handle on the muse, probably by practicing and writing until it comes on demand. That’s been the case for me when I write in other genres. I like the surprise and excitement of an incoming poem though. Perhaps, one day, I’ll feel more confident about it, and get more control of it. I enjoy it for what it is not though.
      I wonder if there is something that is more interesting or entertaining to your mind about creating a romance story than there is for you to read it. Perhaps because you can create the situtations that you find believable, intriguing, and romantic.
      Thanks for stopping by, EM. It’s always a pleasure!

      1. // Reply

        I love exploring other genres! At the moment, I am feeling action and psychological thriller, so I am working on short stories to appease the muse. Yes, that is why I write romance. I never used to be satisfied whenever I read romance so I decide to write what I want to see in a romantic story. Keep up the wonderful blogging, Mandie!

  4. // Reply

    I have so many reasons for writing poetry… the list would be long… sometimes it’s to play and have fun, more often it’s something that concerns me, politics, war and peace or the environment. I love to dress my words in metaphor… sometimes a really ordinary object turns into a metaphor for something important I want to say.

    At other time I just want to write within the constraint, and see if I can create an image of something… starting out by just putting words together…. maybe like laying a puzzle, where rhyme or assonance work together creating music.

    Then of course it’s writing to prompts. To find something that unite me with other poets, a bit like on-line workshops. Since i manage a poetry site where poets come together I try to read about 50 poems for every one that I write… I find the online world so good to explore my writing and help others in their efforts….

    1. // Reply

      I enjoyed reading your different reasons, Björn. It’s interesting to read why people write beyond the need to be creative or their passion to write.
      I think if I really sussed out all the reasons I write, I could make a lengthy list. Each genre serves a bit of a different role, even different scenes in a story serve different purposes.
      Thanks for stopping by. It was fun to hear from you!

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