Good Morning Poetry Lovers and Writers,
This morning I was thinking about how we come up with the myriad of ideas that we gather for our poems and our writings.
People always ask:
“How do you gather ideas and images for use in your poetry?”
First of all,
Ideas are everywhere!
Ideas and inspirations surround us all day long when we are actively engaged in the mundane chores of our day.
Ideas and images are:
Overhead in the night skies,
Sloshing down in the pouring spring rain,
Romping like a child with a sand shovel and bucket in the sunshine on the beach,
Found on the front page of this morning’s small town newspaper,
Sent in a letter from a dear friend,
Articulated over the phone when I am talking with a friend who is meeting challenges,
Hidden in the bushy ruffled wag of my little dog’s tail as he dances to beg for treats,
Packed away in great grandma’s old metal trunk with bands of wood and brass
forgotten in the darkness of your dusty attic
Buried deep in the rich black earth in the woods beneath the stately Hemlock tree where we have buried all our pets through the years.
Search through your MEMORIES
Can you recall the ivory blooms of Queen Ann Lace in the early fall fields?
They are often intermingled with the periwinkle stars of the Chicory, just before the first frost. My heart skips a few beats just to think of this delightful sight, right in my back yard every year. Last year, the meadow was alive with cone shaped mushroom. They were scatterd about like a magician had come through and waved his magic wand there, and from the dust of his want came the brilliant white mushroom reaching up to the sky.
How about that dragon- fly that landed on your shoulder as you sat quietly along the edges of the brook when you were a small child? Did you hear it rattle around in the back seat of your car yesterday?
What idea was blown by the winds across the foggy surface of asphalt in the parking lot at the strip mall?
Are you remembering some things right now that just might be the stuff of a poem?
I think I could sit here for hours on end writing about where I have been surprised and delighted by the quickly fleeting sliver of an idea, or softly echoing lyric of a soulful idea for a poem. I think I spotted the leg of a new poem this morning, lurking there inside my new pair of Reebok cross-trainer shoes! I saw that slender strip of yellow zig-zagging across the bottom of the shoes – calling out to me to pay attention and not be in such a big rush to get going on my journey today.
I sat down to look over new messages on my Face Book page today,
I found a gem of an idea there.
Delight was right there in print on that page.
And, there was a picture, too! The picture there was of a Lotus Flower, all in violet, lavender, deep greens, and periwinkle blue colors.
An idea for a poem came to me as I scanned through this new FaceBook message.
One thing you eventually find on social media are like minded individuals who share a world view that can be similar to your own.
These are the “friends” you always look for because they often post messages that lift you up and encourage you, and give you new insight – a little glimmer of some truth that rings true inside your body. I had one of those moments this morning!
~ I choose friends who ~
love the arts
care about the earth
work to find homes for animals
restore others to good health
friends who love dusty old things
cherish small things
some who love flowers – gardens – birds
those who love to travel and enjoy the culture of other places
friends who respect other people who live in very different circumstances
Think carefully about the kind of people you call your friends.
What kind of energy do they give off? Is it healing, helpful, encouraging, and positive? I avoid negative people because their energy will bring you down to where they are and that is a place where there are no poems and no marvel. Choose friends who love life and who are life-bringers in this world. A negative person is an empty shell of a human person.
Just a few months ago
I joined a group of writers who talk about their work and put up their writings for the rest of the group to discuss. There, I have found three strong women poets who are absolutely amazing writers. Like me, they have experienced sight loss, yet they live a full and complete life with no boundaries and no regrets.
The poetry folks I have met recently at the National Federation of the Blind on the NFB Writers Division list have been talking about saving some of the comments and poems they find so they can return to them and read them again. What a good idea this is! I have a couple of files started for this purpose, too. I have read some poems that are so nourishing, rich, memorable that I want to savor them again and again. I also want to see more poems from these people, and watch their path unfold as they write.
I, too, have a folder for saving “ideas” for some future works for myself.
An idea will come to me and I like to record it and save it to my files. I will collect information on that idea until I have sufficient material to begin the work on a new poem. I gather ideas and put them in my files before they fly off to become someone else’s poem!
Another place I find inspiration is when I read some of the FaceBook pages posted by friends I have never met.
Today’s find is the message I will post below. The message uses the metaphor of the Lotus Flower. It is a keeper and is now in my folder. My folder is called “Poem_Ideas” and at some point I will return to this message and begin the work of writing a poem. The idea has been captured and saved for me to return to another day when I am able to put the work into the idea.
What do YOU need to do to enrich your ideas for working with words?
You need to SLOW DOWN, first of all.
Pay attention to your surroundings.
Listen to what sounds are there. Close your eyes and smell the air.
Reach out your finger tips and touch something. How does it feel?
Is there a taste in the air? Do you hear the music?
Patience, my friends, patience. That is the KEY to getting in touch with your own world. It is YOUR WORLD and YOUR LIFE that is your motif.
As you begin to feel, hear, taste, see, touch, smell your world, you will now be ready to begin your poem.
The poem is your life!
“The lotus flower sits upon one of it’s leaves, having risen to the surface as the sun, held in the hand of God, invites it upward to the light. This unique plant is rooted in the mud and muck at the bottom of a body of water, it’s stem reaching up to the surface, where the leaves rest quietly. At night, the flower closes and sinks below the surface, only to rise with the daylight and once again, gradually unfold it’s petals.
What we learn from this amazing plant is how our own spiritual path unfolds and opens to the light, then at times gently folds in on itself for a proper rest when the daylight fades.
Your spiritual unfoldment is occurring at all times, whether or not you are aware of it. It is inevitable as long as you put your trust in the hands of the Creator, the One who holds the Light.
Like the Lotus, your soul is always reaching for the light to fulfill its karmic destiny, but even in that process, there are periods of darkness and times to rest. It is a natural cycle, one that cannot truly be coerced or halted.
It has an innate rhythm of its own, one that is unique to the Being that is you!”
~Earth Magic by Steven D. Farmer