Poetry Thieves

I’ve been thinking about Katie Waring’s post about poetic inspiration.  Her post was interesting in the way she finds inspiration, but also made me think about the way I become inspired and excited about poetry.

I find poetic inspiration in many different places, usually overheard conversations, and reading other poems or writings.  I usually write down words or phrases that stick out to me and put them in a little notebook so I can refer to them later (this is really helpful because of my horrible memory.)

All of this got me thinking about the art of poetic thievery.  In fiction workshop I’ve always been told that every story that could ever exist has already been written–but is that also the case with poetry?  It’s impossible to deny that when we write poetry we’re influenced by our senses (how we perceive the world around us), and the other work that we admire.  I have heard poets say that no matter how many poems they write, or how much those poems may seem to vary, every poem ends up being the same poem.  Are we all just writing the same poem over and over?

I’m not sure if I feel poetry is all just a thieving of the senses, as maybe a conversation of the senses? I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks about this:  Where do other people get their inspiration, and any thoughts on thieving?

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