Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Poetry Stretch - Inspiration

During David Weisner's CLA talk he said that in creating art you can't wait for inspiration to come to you. Instead, you must get to work and focus on the process. Truer words have not been spoken. I know I can't just stare at the blank page and wait for the words to come. I have to put pen to paper and write. That said, I've never been one to easily "free write." Those were dreaded words in my high school English class. I did often stare at the page because I needed some parameters within which to write. That's why I like poetry stretches--they give me something to focus on and think about. They may be a minor inspiration, but they do help me get started.

This week, let's write about something that inspires you. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.



    Inspiration comes with nouns:



    rosebay willowherb,

    mob of crows.

    It comes with verbs:





    It comes with adjectives, with adverbs, with gerunds:

    Leaping quickly over the myriad obstacles--

    the aches of being 71,

    the pain of remembering,

    the joy of remembering,

    the need in remembering,

    the very word, remembering--

    I write a poem about you.

    ©2010 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  2. We all differ. A blank page inspires me. Often it will give me a word, a thought. It didn’t need to this time around. You supplied the word—inspiration.

    the blank page
    yet beckons
    yet entices
    awaiting fulfillment
    creates a longing
    impossible to subdue
    words, images
    seize their captive
    a gift of the mind
    opened with delight
    weapon of choice
    wielded with undaunted determination
    the blank page

    2010 Judy Beck all rights reserved

  3. Trees

    Trees are God walking
    down the streets
    of this trying-to-be-boring

    Its houses smirk with normalcy,
    unaware of the trees
    making faces behind their backs
    and even in their laps.

    The trees are better than a ballet,
    flinging ragged green skirts
    about even when the wind's
    not blowing.

    The trees breathe, sometimes
    dripping leaves,
    and because of them
    from the dirt to the sky,
    is all right.

    --Kate Coombs, 2010, all rights reserved

    By Steven Withrow

    Idling in traffic,
    afternoon rush,
    a sorcerous school bus
    modifies, flings yellow wings
    to either side, flies
    from the pavement
    like a finch from a cat
    through an overhang of oaks
    and barrel-rolls once
    on cloudless blue,
    perfect parabola,
    a girl’s grin in high window…


    I gotta renew it
    So I can get through it,
    Then I’ll return it
    Because I’ve earned it.

    (c) Charles Waters 2010

  6. Library books have been a saving grace for me for many years. Because I leave in kind of cramped quarters I cannot buy a lot of books so hello library books!!!! I keep them for a specific period of time, read them endlessly and return them ... for free. What a blessing.

  7. Sorry for the typo I meant "lived in kind of cramped corners....."

  8. I was inspired to try and write my own stanza after reading Barbara Bosma Van Noord's poem, "Giving Them Away"

    To a child on her way to the pool,
    I give my childhood:
    flip flops,
    the Chicago skyline,
    jump ropes, and my Cabbage Patch Doll,
    the black convertible,
    my blue Prom dress,
    and the sound of the el lulling me to sleep

  9. Inspire - literally, "to breathe in." That definition pleases me, because it suggests that inspiration can come in small packages. Here's my breath-size, bird-size poem:

    Backyard Junco

    Just a little junco in the apple tree
    this morning was enough to make me fiddle
    with my plans, make me wait & see
    (just a little)

    what the day would bring. I put the kettle
    on, rethought my errands, made a cup of tea,
    settled in by the window. The junco's whistle

    (just the hint of one, no bigger than the middle
    letter of September) – his busy ee-ee-ee—
    was Greek to me. But I love an autumn riddle
    (especially if it's little.)

  10. Inspirelationship

    Inspiration hides under the bed
    if I look for her.
    She cowers as if my brain storms
    dangerously, loudly,
    flashing outside the window,
    battering the glass.

    But if I stop storming,
    if I calm down and do the useful stuff,
    like watering grass and shining through
    blinds to paint warm stripes on cats,
    then inspiration jumps out to shout “Boo!”

    That’s our deal:
    I pretend I don’t need her
    and she pretends to surprise me.
    And we both ignore
    our co-dependence.
    Because it works for us.

    --Laura Purdie Salas, 2010, all rights reserved

  11. Typos inspire me, and misspeeches...

    I come in pieces
    I stand in isles
    I wait in lines
    I leave in cramped quarters

    ~Heidi Mordhorst
    ARR 2010

    and Word Verification codes inspire me: today I am asked to VERSIST...

  12. Inspiration Stands on Thin Deer Legs

    Split tracks in deep snow,
    the cold silence aches.
    In the lee of the night,
    under the cedars,
    the doe rests.
    She inhales sharp still air,
    not waiting for spring,
    not waiting for sunrise,
    she exhales a new
    steamy moment now.

    Daphne Kalmar