Walking by Inner Vision
From the Professor’s Journal
From the Professor’s Journal: A Series of Published Poems
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
Are you having trouble trying to get a poem started?
Does it seem like nothing comes into your imagination?
This is the time to begin to think differently.
Instead of looking at the moment, I will metaphorically turn around and look backward for my inspiration. This works magic for me, usually.
Writers often discover treasures for writing poems and other literary pieces when they look back into history.
They seek out additional insight and information on something they think is interesting. You may want to try this method, too. Look into your thoughts or ideas for something that seemed curious, delightful, or different.
Don’t you just want to know more about something that captured your attention as you wrote in your journal?
One little detail or image can lead you to unearth some fine gems.
~This way of working inspires some of my best poems ~
For instance, I keep a travel journal on my trips. You can keep a journal or notebook any time or anywhere – even at home.
I make sketches of exciting things I encounter,
I write short notes daily as I record my experiences.
Your journals will become the raw material that you can look into long after you recorded the events.
The things I find in my journal can be exciting new revelations or even unexpected surprises. Sometimes I can see things much better after being away from my journal for some time.
When I wrote my latest book
Songs for the Pilgrimage Here.
I went back over many years of journaling. It is so amazing how time can give you new insight and perspectives as you read the things you wrote over many years. As I read through those journals, I took lots of notes. At times, I even stopped and wrote a poem or an essay from that piece of information I discovered in my journals. Enough time had passed that many of the writings felt fresh and new. I had more clarity and found many gems in my past journal entries.
Let me provide you with an example of one of the journal reflections that gave me the information I could use to write a poem.
On a lovely summer day, as I enjoyed the fragrance of the fully blooming roses in a formal garden in Salzburg, Austria, I was thinking about HOW I could remember this place. Something this spectacular needs to be remembered.
I had my journal with me and began to jot a few notes. The famous Mirabell Gardens was where I visited so often during my summers. I am a college professor who taught a course called “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg.” Each summer I brought students to Europe where we lived in Salzburg. On weekends, we traveled extensively. We visited Germany, Italy, and Czech Republic. My students carried a journal with them everywhere we went.
I wrote some quick notes about the palace – its location in the center of Salzburg and the fascinating Archbishop, Wolf Dietrich. . The archbishop commissioned the palace building for his mistress and their many children. Then, I used a basic ball-point pen to make a few line drawings of various aspects of the architecture, the gardens, and the fortress on the mountain top that overlooked the palace.
Afterwards, I looked into some historical notes on this intriguing story. The people who lived in this magnificent palace became so real to me that I began to imagine their lives personally. Unfortunately, this story did not have a happy ending. The Archbishop, Wolf Dietrich von Rathenau, eventually made so many political enemies that he was ultimately arrested and imprisoned in the fortress dungeon where he spent the remaining years of his life. He died in the fortress prison, high above the city, overlooking his palace. His mistress. Salome Alt, fled with their children to Wels, another town where she and the children were safe.
Do a little scribble drawing. This is only for your information. A few lines can bring back many intricate memories later when you look back on this day. Allow your hand to guide you and make no judgements. This is only for you, to help you remember. You will merely scribble. You want to capture the feeling of the movements as you experience them.
Take some quick photos. You will be so thankful you have those photos to spark your memories when you want to write more about this place. Your photos will give you details of information about colors and position of objects you might need when you are writing.
Jot down some descriptive notes. Carry your journal everywhere so you are always prepared to record information and insights that can be valuable to you for years to come.
Write some nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs. Just quickly make a little list.
When there is more time to think it over, use those thoughts and images as you craft a poem. It only takes a few visual or text notations to awaken memories.
Turn Journal Notes into a Poem:
Some additional things you can do when you want to write your poem:
Explore the HISTORY:
_Consider the history of the place and the people who inhabited it.
_Write down some historical notes.
They can be made on location as you visit a place, which is the best way to begin. Then, later, when you are back home, you can do some additional research to gain even more information to set the stage for the historical context.
Example from my journal:
Mirabell Palace sits like a jewel in the heart of Salzburg, Austria. It was initially called Altenau and was built in 1606 by the Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Rathenau as a home for his mistress Salome’ Alt and their children. The famous Mirabell Gardens surround the palace. Fischer von Erlach designed them . On the grounds are stone sculptures perched on the pillars on each side of the gates as you enter the palace grounds. They are massive, much larger than life. They are depictions of mythological heroes. In other places, you can find sculptures such as unicorns, a Pegasus fountain, gloriously blooming flowers spilling from large urns, and a magical rose garden, all enclosed by local wrought ironwork.
The stone urns sit atop the pilasters that surround the lush gardens. Each one seems like it is literally spewing glorious flowers like a waterfall. They are bursting forth from the pots. I sit and make pencil sketches of the urns. Each one is different from the others; each has a different design. All are massive.
Wolfe spent the final six years of his life imprisoned in Hohensalzburg Fortress, which overlooks the city of Salzburg. The fortress prison was his destiny as he was held prisoner until he died in 1612.”
Here is the Poem I created from my Journal Notes and my Imagination:
(I imagined thirteen notes from Wolfe, smuggled from prison. He had six years in prison, prior to his death. )
If we could have measured
The length of our time on earth
Before we began the journey
I would have hoped
for golden days
alone, in the garden
Pegasus can fly
When waxed begonias bloom in
Is our garden lush-
Yellow marigolds touched by
Morning’s cool damp mist?
Do our marble stairs
Come to life during the night
When the putti dance?
The ongerie waits
Near the end of the garden
Hidden, out of view.
The scent of roses
Permeated my cell tonight
Just before twilight.
Salome and Wolfe
Danced down pink marble stairs while
Hot candles flickered.
Lions guard our steps
To the secret garden path
Where the dwarves carouse.
Created putti to frolic
On pink marble crests.
I miss your soft touch
Long to be near you at the
End of my journey
You are the crown jewel
In the snow that melts away
Everything I touch.
When our garden fades
Icy frost covers windows
I remember you.
Our children will dance
In gardens we created from
Salome’s Garden (©Lynda McKinney Lambert. 2001, Revised, 2022 Here)
First Published_ Lambert, Lynda. Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, Kota Press, January 1, 2003. Here
_Plinth Contemporary Writing Magazine, England
February 2003 – BENGEO,HERTS,
_Magnets & Ladders Literary Magazine, Fall/Winter 2013/14
(You can read the original version by visiting Magnets & Ladders site)
_Walking by Inner vision Blog, 2015, 2021, (Revised, May 23, 2022)
_First Published_ Lambert, Lynda. Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, Kota Press, January 1, 2003. Here
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002112554
__mbert, Lynda McKinney, Walking by Inner Vision Blog, May 27, 2022.
©Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2022. All rights reserved. Revised.
ABOUT Lynda McKinney Lambert Here.
Songs for the Pilgrimage, Buy the e-book from Smashwords Order Now
What do you think about writing a poem?