What I draw inspiration from

In simplest terms I would respond with everything! My day to day walks around campus, the conversations with close friends, the intense UNO game nights in the suite, the car rides around town and everything in between. I tend to pay particular attention to things that interest me such as the blooming blossoms on the spring Geneseo trees, digesting a new culture, language, and experiences of a friend studying abroad, as well as the latest news regarding friends and advice. Whether I am paying close attention or not, I am always taking in information, processing it, and storing it for later. I am going to be completely honest, I have barely read poetry. The only source of inspiration from my past poems come from in-class examples and personal experiences. Though I have read a few pages of the well known book “Milk and Honey” I feel as though that does not make me anywhere near qualified as a true poet. Through this poetry workshop, I hope to find myself as a writer, and specifically, a poet. I hope to further my skills and compose a plethora of pieces in which I am proud of and can compare to earlier works. I am beyond excited to give my all and expand my horizons in this workshop class. 

3 Replies to “What I draw inspiration from”

  1. Well, as Doctor Smith keeps saying, we are composed of our inspirations, so being inspired by practically everything can’t be a bad thing for you!

    Most people know about “Milk and Honey”; in 2015, I thought we were never going to escape seeing it on every single possible Instagram caption, typography project, and Target clearance shelf. But fewer people know about Kaur’s second book of poems post-Milk and Honey (no, it’s not “Milk and Vine”, though that’s a lot of fun in its own right) from 2017. It’s “The Sun and Her Flowers”, which focuses more on the healing Kaur mentions beginning in M&H. I love M&H, but it has a tendency to hone in on its own pain as its source of power – “The Sun and Her Flowers” looks more towards personal growth, hence the entire flower motif. I know people like to knock on Kaur for her simplicity and the entire flower = growth thing is just another bit of fodder for that, but if you genuinely liked what you read of M&H (I did!), I can’t see why you wouldn’t like this one.

    Not to be a paid tour guide, but if you’re inspired by spending time with your friends, I’d highly recommend checking out the site Atlas Obscura, which lists unusual or otherwise unknown places around you that you can visit (and, if you are so inclined, you can even list a few of your own). Lots of the places listed tend to be secluded natural areas, which seems to speak to your interests – might be nice to pack up a car and disappear into the ether for a bit.

    Also, there’s apparently someone out there that shares your love of UNO out there, and then some: did you know there’s at least 30+ different variations of UNO? Some of them involve dice, and dominoes! Anyway, here’s a large list of them all, if you ever feel like shaking up common room game nights: http://www.geekyhobbies.com/uno-games-the-complete-list-of-all-themed-decks-spinoffs/

  2. After reading your post I get a sense that you love spending time with your friends and visiting cool and interesting places. With that I would recommend the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Not only is the drive down there beautiful, but the garden itself is also breathtaking. Along with just being beautiful, it also offers a variety of events over the year and is a great place to spend the day with friends. If your looking to fuana for inspiration for your writing, there’s no better place than the Gardens.

    You mentioned playing UNO with your friends and I can confirm it’s a lot of fun to sit down with suitemates and play a good game. I’m going to assume you’ve already played this game that i’m about to mention, but I want you to look into it a bit more for inspiration. The game im refering to is “Cards Against Humanity.” Yes, the game is quite vulgar and takes a very dark sense of humor to play, however, I believe a cool poem to maybe consider is a satirical piece on the game.

    A piece of contemporary poetry I recommend you read is called “The beautiful chaos of growing up,” by Ari Satok. In this book Satok explores the process of growing up from a young child, years of college with friends and eventually adulthood. I believe that you would enjoy giving this piece a read.

  3. I’m excited, too – glad to have you with us!

    What’s really clear from your post is that poetry is connected to observation for you, that source is about what you see in the world around you (and with that in mind, Jessica and Zachary’s suggestions are really thoughtfully chosen). Along those lines, Cecily Park’s O’Nights is a book that might interest you, steeped as it is in the natural world.

    At the same time, I want to encourage you to think also about source as something you’re trying to figure out, to explore and even investigate (we’ll get, later in the semester, to poet-as-detective!). That’s partly a question of content, of the issues or topics we’re drawn to. But it’s also a question of argument, of trying to think about the claims we’d make about the world and how to live in it. (For Clarke, it means being in balance with nature, in part through being aware of history and myth. Others will take other approaches.) I’m curious what will happen as you develop that aspect of your poetry, in response to what you’re seeing around you, this semester. And, with that in mind, I’ll recommend Christina Davis’s An Ethic: https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781937658090/an-ethic.aspx

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