Consider the image of the starving poet, huddled in his lonely garret, warming his fingers over a stubby candle so he can scratch out a few more inspired lines by that same meager light. With each word, he leaves another bit of his soul on the page.
Romantic, isn’t it?
Only if you’re inspired by your own suffering. I prefer to take my cues from outside influences.
The natural world is rich in inspiring imagery, from the humble resting place of a slowly melting snowflake to the panoramic reach of the Rocky Mountains. No detail is too small to warrant your attention. And nothing is too large to be captured with a few carefully chosen words.
Strangers are another fine source of ideas. The less you know about them the better. Simply graft your imagination onto their physical attributes, and you’re well on your way to creating something unique.
With its brevity of form, poetry excels at capturing a moment in exquisite detail. And somehow, magically, poetry sees past even the ugliest façade to the beauty within.
While poetry probably won’t pay the bills, it will most certainly enrich your life.
Betty Dobson is an award-winning writer of short fiction, essays and poetry. She also writes newspaper and magazine articles but is still waiting for those awards to materialize. In the meantime, she continues to run InkSpotter Publishing, which has three new books available and several more in the works for 2012.