I currently have a poetry collection out now on Amazon called The Fractured Shards (ooo get me!) and whilst I have been promoting my first dabble at publishing, I have been asked on occasion where my inspiration comes from. This has been from fellow poets, colleagues, readers and friends. They’ve asked things like;
“What is that poem such and such really about?” ….”Is such and such about someone you know?”
And whilst I have wracked my brains, predominantly because I don’t have a poem called Such and Such ( 😉 baa dum tusssh) all I can do is skilfully dodge this question. Fundamentally because I get my inspiration from everywhere. Being a confessional poet, each one of my stanzas is linked to me. The inspiration has either been an experience or memory of mine or of someone close to me; which has in turn affected me. So yes, all of my poems are about someone I know. My mind is permenantly turned on and listening.
I have been socialising with friends, just about to fall asleep, or sitting on a train when suddenly words have formed. They can come from nowhere, or from a few words of an overheard conversation. A smell, or a song can evoke a multitude of memories and before I know it BOOM! My notebook page is full.
How do I convey this? I want to answer as I have above, or simply say “I get my inspiration from everything” but that’s not specific enough for them, but it’s as specific as I can be.
I decided to revisit some of my favourite poets and see whether they had this same issue.
Emily Dickinson (although not exclusively) found the notion of death and immortality a vast well of inspiration. I too must admit that because of her, I have found the exact same topic just as alluring.
Edgar Allen Poe found inspiration in the macabre. His gothic poetry dealt with imagery which was rich and diverse, death and decomposition. Reanimation of the dead and the horrors in every day life. He was more than that, of course, his works were also steeped in mystery and intrigue.
Sylvia Plath sought inspiration in the psyche. The psychology of life. It was through her poetry that she made the concept of mental pain almost tactile.
These are just a handful of my favourite poets and the persons with whom ignited a desire to write myself. Although, I must say, reading this all back it is clear that I too have an interest in death and the macabre considering that these are my favourites! So, I shall say to people who ask me again, that whilst my poetry has many themes my inspiration is sought from anything that could happen to a person, at any one time. Generically specific, but mysterious too…..and what poet wouldn’t want that? 😊