Sunday 3 May 2015

How to Find Inspiration for Your Poetry

"Ideas come from  everything." (Alfred Hitchcock)

As I said in a recent post, keep a journal of ideas to serve as inspiration for your poetry.  Write down your emotions and descriptions.  The Writers Relief website recommends keeping a file for newspaper and magazine clippings, sketches and quotes to use as inspiration for your writing

Wikihow suggests visiting a place that can serve as a setting for a poem.  Why not take a trip to a forest or garden, waterfalls or river?  "Find the natural rhythm of everyday life," suggests Wikihow (  Use all five senses to take in the experience.  Brainstorm words and phrases to describe the experience ex. active verbs and vivid nouns.

Nature isn't the only source of inspiration.  Visit your local park or cafe.  Take a bus or train ride. Write down your observations.  You'd be amazed at how underneath the ordinary lies the extraordinary.

Keep your sense on alert at all times, even in your own home.  Keep a notebook at your bedside to record dreams or ideas that come to you in the middle of the night.  Go online to find writing prompts ex. "What if?" scenarios.  Scan the newspaper and magazine headlines for ideas.  Study paintings or photographs.  My poem "Sunset over the Ice" is based on a famous painting by Frederic Church. Study your scrapbooks; maybe a vacation photo will spark a memory.

Perhaps you have a family member who inspires you.  I wrote a poem about my husband's grandma who survived the war called "On Prussian Plains" which I read at her funeral in 2007.  Think of a special spot you like to visit.  I wrote a poem about a bridge that Rob and I like to stand on when we visit St. Mary's.  Study old postcards.  I found a postcard called "Greetings from Holly Beach" which spurred me on to write a poem about Hurricane Rita.  There's a map on the wall of my in-law's cottage called "The Ghostfleet of Long Point".  I penned a poem of the same name.

Maybe an injustice has taken place which has moved you to write a poem.  Oprah Winfrey talked about a young black mother of ten being gunned down on her way home from work as she searched in a ditch for her wallet.  Her story inspired me to write "Justice for Johnnie Mae".  An occasion is also a good reason to write a poem.  When my cousin Jeff got married I did a bit of research on his new bride and wrote a poem about the new couple.  

Note:  For more inspiration, read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

No comments:

Post a Comment