Recently, I was inspired by a song to write a poem. This is the first and only time I’ve ever felt compelled to write a poem based on a song, not the first time I’ve been inspired by music, but the first time I’ve been inspired to occupy the space of that song and create a poem that occupies that same space. I went to speak with Professor Lytton about how to “cite” or give credit to the song in my poem without just “stealing” (the song and the poem share the same title). He told me about a poet who often based poems on other works of art. Inspired by this, I wanted to see if I could do more. So I tried to write a poem occupying the same space as one of my favorite paintings. Normally, when I sit down to write a poem, I’ll have one image or topic in mind, and from there begin hours of painstakingly uninspired lines appearing slowly on the page. But when I sat down to write these two poems, based on other works of art, the whole process just felt quicker, smoother. I wonder if this is because, rather than creating a work of art from nothing, I am actually just converting art from one form to another. This is to say, translating the atmosphere of the song to the atmosphere of a poem, or transcribing the space of the painting to written words on the page. Of course it’s a little more complicated than this because the space this song or this painting creates for me will be inherently different than the space it creates for someone else (at least in some small way). But the point, I think, might be that it creates the space for me—these works of art provide an atmosphere that only needs to be worked into words. One could say that that is the nature of any poem, that the world around us is full of little “works of art” that provide atmospheres/ spaces for us to write in (a similar sentiment to Donald Revell’s statement that imagination hinders poem writing). What do you think? Maybe I’m just imagining an ease of writing when occupying the space of another medium of artwork, or maybe there is a certain easiness to it. Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience!