Why I Write – Erynn Pontius

It is funny how simple mixtures of letters and lines scribbled across paper can make you feel something so strongly, how these words can fight wars, proclaim freedom, inspire thousands or merely show you a different perspective you’d never discovered before, how poems and verses can convey so much with so little. Language can communicate more than just sheer information; there is something miraculous and extraordinary in our ability to transport intense emotion and timeless wisdom.

There are many authors and writers whom I have come to respect and appreciate but there is one individual whom I have particularly grown to admire. Emily Dickinson is widely recognized as one of the distinguishing founders of a distinct American style of poetry and is studied in most creative writing and literature classes today, which is where I was first introduced to her work. What I did not know until later was Dickinson never received credit for her poems while she was alive. After her death her family found thousands of her poems she had collected in booklets no one had ever seen. At first this very much bothered me, I was troubled she was never able to witness the impact her writing would have upon a whole nation and be able to accept the recognition she so deserved. What was the point of spending so many countless hours, as she must have done, scribbling and editing so many pieces of writing to hide them away, for I’m sure she thought, no one would ever read? I then realized that that wasn’t the point. Emily spent all those hours pondering and working on those poems because they were for her. She found a gateway to express things no other way could. This epiphany is when I too realized why I write. It doesn’t matter if no one else reads my work or my poems are revered as literary treasures or if no one quite understands my love for words and the beautiful sounds and images these arrangements can make. Writing is my art and no one else will understand the unique voice inspiring me to create. Words are a limitless source of power and with them I feel empowered. I can only hope one day when I am long gone, my children and grandchildren find countless stories and poems of mine and within those words they feel my memory weaved within their lines because I still have a story to tell.


2 thoughts on “Why I Write – Erynn Pontius

  1. meaganmthornton April 20, 2015 / 2:53 am

    Thanks for your inspiring message. I agree—we don’t need to write to be famous or to be recognized. Writing is so much more than that. I loved your reason for writing. I think we all have something to share as writers, whether that means we write to change one life hundreds of years from now, or to change thousands today. Writing has a purpose. Great post! – Ben Holland


  2. meaganmthornton April 21, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    Erynn – I just wanted to say I have fallen in love with your writing. Sorry if that’s a little creepy. You have such a great voice and I always want to read your stuff! Please publish your writing some day, I’ll be the first to buy it! -Cassie Goff


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