Pollen For Thought

Inspiration is a fickle little thing. Sometimes it unfurls like a blossoming flower, an idea taking root. Then there are the times that inspiration trickles in, like rainwater gathering, drip by drip, into a metal bucket. Other times, it’s a little knobby thing like a string just about to unravel, where you go to brush it or pull on it to see if it’s a little cotton ball or a string, and you find more under the little knob. Whatever way you first find it, inspiration can be found in expected and unexpected places.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate things like poetry and writing even more and find my sources of inspiration in things around me. Like a bumblebee bounces from flower to flower, I bounce from inspiration to inspiration as it suits me. Through this, I gather ideas for my collection.

I listen to a wide variety of music, from metal groups to pop groups; Bring Me the Horizon, Sia, Fall Out Boy, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Panic! at the Disco. Lyrics provide multiple creative ways to look at life, twists on ideas, and inspirations for works of my own.

Books are a never-ending barrage of promise, like Slaughterhouse Five, Dear Life, You Suck, Perks of Being a Wallflower. Even fantasy novels provide outlooks on major topics of life and death and the factors of living, and each book is packed with thoughts assuring more inspirations that could lead to personal revelations.

Mythology was also something I was infatuated with as a child, and the retelling of myths was a point of fascination. Daniella Michalleni wrote an untitled poem told from the point of view of Persephone, with a twist on her myth. The idea that myths could be spun like this, that multiple points of views could be explored, different scenarios explained, was interesting.

Film is another fascination, though I wouldn’t call myself a cinephile. Some of my favorite parts of movies are when there is an angled camera shot, and something seemingly insignificant is revealed, but the importance and relevance of what the single shot revealed, like a gun resting on the table, is left to the audience. The idea that so much could be said without saying anything, or by focusing on a seemingly insignificant detail.

Boredom is another source, seeing as you find the oddest things interesting when plagued with it. The smallest flowers or the dewdrops on a pine needle suddenly become pinpoints of words that could work into something.

Also, seeing as I am someone who has not experienced love- at least not the companionate kind I find emotions such as anger or sadness critical in writing, in finding ways to convey how I feel. The intensity of them, the way they buzz in the chest like bumblebees ready to burst out, is nearly overwhelming, until pen meets paper.

Whether looking for it or not, inspiration lies all around us, just waiting to be found.

3 Replies to “Pollen For Thought”

  1. Hi! I found so much in here that I identify with too. First and foremost: mythology. Having been lucky enough to learn a decent amount of Greco-Roman mythology in middle school and high school, I fully intend to tell myths in place of typical bed time stories. The way that these ancient stories explained phenomena that the people lacked scientific knowledge to answer, is not only clever, but so so creative. Like the reason inhabitants of the continent of Africa have darker skin, or how Persephone and the lonely Hades control the changing of the seasons. In poetry and writing, I love when these references jump out, because they introduce an underlying narrative. As poets, we can incorporate their stories into our own.

    You also talk about camera angles in film. If you haven’t already seen it, I recommend American Beauty. It’s my favorite movie because of Kevin Spacey, symbolic roses and sex, and the dramatic, messy unveiling of perfect American suburbia. To make the film even better, there’s so many camera shots that aid the scene, like when the characters are watching a television, the massive black furniture of the living room frame the scene. The characters are watching the framed TV, and as the audience, we are framing and watching them. The movie inspires a lot of different types of emotions, humor, discomfort, sadness, surprise, etc…

  2. Hi again! Because I didn’t explicitly state the recommendations in my first comment, I’ll clarify it here:

    1- American Beauty. If you like camera angles, I think you’ll find almost any srceenshot of the movie to look like a work or art.
    2- Epics, The Aenied, The Odyssey. These are great stories with myths intertwined.
    3- I’ll also recommend something that I’d like to get my hands on, Dickinson’s Envelope Poems. With editorial interpretations for input, the book provides the transcripts of Dickinson’s later poems, scribbled on used envelopes.

  3. Alexa,

    My first recommendation after reading your source list is actually a list of tools to help you find more sources, rather than a source itself. I don’t know if you use Spotify, or if you’re familiar with its features. If you do and you are, you probably already know about everything I’m going to say. But for someone who sources music, these tools are too important to mention, even at the risk of telling you something you already know. As someone who also often uses music as a source for my writing, I CAN NOT go on enough about how important Spotify and its many features have become in my life. I have a borderline unhealthy relationship with Spotify; I am completely in love with it. Save physical intimacy, I think I’m closer with Spotify than I have ever been with anyone in my life. I’m exaggerating, but seriously– Spotify has so many features to help you discover great new artists, albums, songs, etc. There’s the “Discover” feature, under which Spotify will recommend albums, songs, and artists for you based on your interests and keep you updated on new releases by artists you already know. Spotify also creates a “Discover Weekly” playlist for you– 30 new songs every week! You have the option, also, to browse by genre and MOOD. YES you can browse music by MOOD. Incredible. You can also share music and playlists with others. Oh, and you can look at playlists that your favorite bands have created. So you can become familiar with the music that the artists you use as source material used as their source material!!! There is also a radio feature which functions a lot like Pandora: you choose a song or artist to build a “station” on, and Spotify plays related songs. Also, when you are looking at an artist’s page, there is a “Related Artists” tab, so you have literally at the click of a button artists that are similar to the artists you already know. I don’t work for Spotify, I promise, I’m telling you honestly that the $5 a month I pay for Spotify Premium (which offers even more features like NO ADS, streaming offline, mobile streaming, etc.) is the best $5 I spend each and every month.
    I’ll also offer a couple of album recommendations, somewhat based on the list of bands you cited, but also music that I think might really differ from those bands/ be something new to explore as source material for you. I often use lyric-less music as source material, but you mentioned lyrics, specifically, so all of these suggestions are really lyrically-driven: The Man with Wooden Legs by From Indian Lakes, Sprained Ankle by Julien Baker, The Impossible Kid by Aesop Rock, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett. All relatively recent, these cover a wide range of genres, but if you like a bit of everything, you might find source material in at least one of them.
    Secondly, I’d like to recommend a film. I also adore movies, and often for the particular cinematographic aspects that you pointed out. I recently spent a semester in France, and I watched a lot of French movies. One of the great particularities about French films, particularly of the New Wave era, is that they are concerned with just this. One of my favorites is Pierrot, le fou by François Truffaut. The plot is strange and a little hard-to-follow, but it is all about the art in the angles, the lighting, the tiny (or large) details on screen that make it visually stunning and frankly, quite brilliant. You can definitely find an English subtitled version online.
    For the book of poetry, I am actually going to recommend an anthology. Orpheus & Company is an anthology of contemporary poetry on Greek mythology. The poetry within offers a lot of re-thinkings and new interpretations of the old myths. I think it could be really beneficial, as well as really interesting, for you.

    Hope you are able to take something useful from this!


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