What Inspires Me: A List

3 Replies to “What Inspires Me: A List”

  1. I think I am feeling nostalgic for my freshman year of high school, and I’ve been kinda on a LANY kick lately. You mention most of your poetry is tied to your emotional state and how you are trying to work through things with your poetry, so I think you should check out LANY’s music. I forgot about them until a few weeks ago, but their new work is so emotional while also having such a fun beat. Think of “Somebody Else” by The 1975 where the lyrics make you want to cry but the beat has you dancing. LANY’s lyrics are also tied to personal events, which I feel would be inspirational to you.
    You also mention that you find inspiration in science and your scientist friends. I am far from a scientist, but I am decent in math. Math is absolutely awful most of the time. It makes me cry on a weekly basis, but it can be very beautiful. The Fibinouchi sequence is well-known, and I believe one of the easiest to spot in everyday life. It’s a sequence where the next number is found by adding the previous two numbers. The math is simple, but its spiral looks like a shell. You can see it pretty much everywhere in nature.
    In addition, if you like science, Tracy K. Smith has a book called Life on Mars, which also goes with your love for David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” However, Smith makes the declaration that there is life on Mars with the lack of punctuation that is in Bowie’s title. The book is for her father who was a scientist. From the few poems I’ve read from that book, I can tell that you would like it because it moves the reader through space. It combines space with the loss of her father, and those two combinations make for a beautiful read.

  2. If you’re interested in biblical references/creation, then I think you should check out Fransisco Goya, and 18th/19th century artist. Specifically, you should look into his painting “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” which plays on the iconography of the devil. While I’m not entirely sure if you are more interested in the heaven aspect of the bible, but the devil is also part of it so maybe check him out. I also think that Bridgett Deveau’s book “Soft Thorns” would be a good read because it is a series of poems about her young adult life and working through the obstacles and traumas that she faces. I think you might also like the book “Toward Antarctica” by Elizabeth Bradfield. It contains many images of Antarctica by Bradfield, who lived there herself for a while, resulting in this book about her unique view of the continent.

  3. This is a wonderfully wide-ranging set of inspirations; sometimes we gain inspiration by disappearing down the rabbit hole of a single source, and at other times we get to writing thanks to moving between a range of different sources.

    Lyndsay and Troy hit on some great suggestions for you; I was thinking of Elizabeth Bradfield’s work, albeit another collection, Approaching Ice, so now you have two to check out. And Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars is a great suggestion for you. I also think Cole Swensen will be a really great model for you, particularly her books Goest and Gravesend. I think her work might be a way for your to access the tricky but invaluable weighing of the personal and something rather more philosophical or universal.

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