30 January 2017

Embracing Poetry Mind

Poetry Mind can be a challenge, an obstacle, or a puzzle that guides you to the top of the mountain.


My brain has taken a mini vacation the past few weeks, occupied with getting through the holidays and on into the new year. It was a fallow time, with little creative writing going on. I suddenly realized I needed to get myself back into "Poetry Mind" to get myself back into writing.

Poetry Mind is that state where the possibilities for poems seem endless. Chance encounters, the color of the morning sunrise, a package that arrived in the mail all become fodder for new poems. After editing a manuscript steadily through Oct-Nov-Dec I was not keen on just editing more poems. I want the thrill of the new. I wanted to fall in love with a poem all over again.

To help my journey back to poetry mind, I tend to do a version of the old wedding saw, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue". Something old is rereading a poetry book I know and love, and losing myself in the language. It doesn't even have to be poetry, I reread Lord of the Rings to lose myself in Middle Earth - when I come out the other side, I am refreshed. The familiar brings confidence.

Something new is usually getting a new poetry book by an author I've always wanted to read, or picking up a few literary journals I haven't read before. There is a sense of excitement as I turn the pages. Who knows what new and inspiring poem will shoot forth from the page to worm its way into my brain? Maybe it's a new way of looking at word play, a turn of phrase or deft language handling that will twig my Poetry Brain.

Something borrowed means I appropriate an image or a line from a poem and use it as a jumping off point. I twist it, turn it, hold it upside down and shake vigorously. If it's firing on all cylinders, Poetry Mind takes off with a roar, or at least burns some rubber. Poetry Mind likes to play catch with its friend, What If? Together, they are excellent jump starters.

Finally, we have something blue. To me this means I need to get outdoors, go for a hike, take in a park, commune with nature in any way, shape or form. Deep breaths of fresh air coupled with a panoramic view of Mother Nature soothes my Poetry Mind and leaves it open to the possibilities. A dash of all four somethings, contemplated, usually provides the motivation to get me back in the state I need to be to write. Poetry Mind.

How do you reach your Poetry Mind?

2 comments:

Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

Nature works for me, too. Really long hikes, disconnected from social media, and often with camera in hand. Sitting still and letting my mind drift. A long hot bath. Cooking. All these activities get me into poetry mind. Reading anything will give some kind of nudge, and stealing a line from some text as a staring point for a new poem is a lot of fun.

Constance Brewer said...

Nature is a great tool for creativity. So is cooking. I tend to bake when I need to mull things over. Scott benefits. :)