When Lytton told me this class would be focused on “sources” of poetry, I knew I would really enjoy being a part of this class. I often find myself writing about things I have come across in other readings, or stories I have come across through research. For example, I have a poem about Marilyn Monroe–one of my favorite original pieces. I also have written a piece about Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann, both writers during the Second World War; they had a correspondence of love letters throughout the war. I have a poem about a woman who was became pregnant by a wealthy man on the Titanic, written in the voice of their child. From here I will write my list:
1. I love bringing old stories/historical moments (like those I have written about above) back to life.
2. Nature often grabs my attention and I find myself writing about things I see in nature all the time. A few months ago a deer jumped out in front of my car and I have yet to write a piece about it but I REALLY want to. I also am fascinated by fruit and love cutting it up and tossing it in my poetry.
3. In one of my last workshops someone made a joke that all my poetry is about food and sex–not entirely true! Although I am definitely into writing about physical and emotional relationships. I try to make these pieces more complex rather than one-sided–I won’t write a plain “love poem,” there is always something else lying beneath the surface of that relationship or physical encounter I am trying to convey.
4. Things I see when I’m living everyday life. This may seem vague but there are times when I see things and think “Oh my god, that’d be a great poem” so I jot down a note about it and go back to it later. Yesterday I was in one of my education classes and the professor showed us a video titled “Finch Frozen to Finch Rescue”. That will certainly turn into a poem when I get to it.
5. The slam poetry I write often comes from a conflict I have with the world or within myself.
6. This kind of goes along with #5, but I often write about my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder–what it means to be someone with a mental illness, and what it feels like to overcome it.
7. I have a pet hermit crab named Lilo and I like to write about her, sometimes turning those hermit crab poems into pieces that are no longer about hermit crabs. You’ll be hearing a lot more about Lilo, don’t worry! 🙂
8. Certain things that people say often resonate with me. If I’m having a conversation with someone about something significant and they say something I think is worth repeating, I will write it down or type into my poem for safekeeping.
9. Things that surprise/excite me. I think this is a good starting point for a piece if I’m stuck. An example would be the 6-year-old boy I babysit; he surprises me everyday!
Looking forward to seeing you all in class next week! Happy writing!