I was reading through all the responses to my ‘found poetry’ post – lots of great stuff going on there. It lead me to think about where we find inspiration for our poetry.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve written a poem – the one I shared last week was written freshman year of college (three years ago for me!), and since then poetry has been kind of a non-existent thing for me. I remember I used to get inspiration for my poetry at the Slam Poet Society; I would listen to some incredible performances in person, get a prompt, and off I’d go, full of ideas. We talked the first day in class about finding inspiration in music; and in my last post, we discovered a poet who found inspiration in other’s words.
As I work on regaining my poetry skillz, I wonder where I’ll be able to find my inspiration. Largely, so far, I’ve found it in the words themselves – words I’ve been desperate to use, to say, to love. With the writing exercises, I’m struggling to ‘fit’ in the box of the prompts, wanting to spill my words all over the place, with no organization, even if I am somehow feeling ‘inspired’ to write at that moment. It seems like, however, that kind of inspiration is going to lead me nowhere new, and so I’m seeking different sources. Are there different kinds of inspiration, that will lead to poems of different forms, shapes, pun-i-ness, etc?
What do you all use for inspiration? How do your different sources lead to different poems? What do you do to get past your ‘writer’s block’ – which I find especially difficult when attempting to write poetry? If we listen to music to garner inspiration, should we credit that music for all it gave us?
Lastly, I’d be really interested in hearing what inspiration feels like to you. Is it a collected focus, a will to work and research and refine? Is it vague, crazy, disorganized passion on the page? How do you make the feeling of your inspiration ‘work’ for you? Do you even need to feel inspired to write poetry? Is the source, and the depth, of your initial passion an integral piece of the work that will never disappear, even with extensive revision?
Thanks for your thoughts!