Twenty-Six Days of Creative Inspiration
I love poetry. I was lucky to have a mother that read poetry to my brothers and I all through our childhood.
I am drawn to the intensity of poetry. The challenge of puzzling out the meaning in obtuse verse, and finding an expression that matches a flame in my own soul are the foundations of my relationship with poetry. Above all else, I adore poems that tell stories.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Two of my favorite story poems are "The Ballad of the Harp Weaver" by Millay, and "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes.
Do you feel the angst and intensity just dripping out of their portraits?
There are two books that weave poetry so effectively into the stories that they have sent me scurrying to the poems and poets they feature. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger introduced me to Rainer Maria Rilke, and Matched by Allie Condie reminded me of the power of Dylan Thomas and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Both stories show how poetry can sing the song behind the soul of your story.
Do you have a favorite poet or poem?
Rainer Maria Rilke
I suspect Rilke looks unhappy because his middle name is Maria.
I leave you with a treat from Rilke. It's from Uncollected Poems Rainer Maria Rilke selected and translated by Edward Snow.
Overflowing heavens of squandered stars
flame brilliantly above your troubles. Instead
of into your pillows, weep up toward them.
There, at the already weeping, at the ending visage,
slowly thinning out, ravishing
worldspace begins. Who will interrupt,
once you force your way there,
the current? No one. You may panic,
and fight that overwhelming course of stars
that streams toward you. Breathe.
Breathe the darkness of the earth and again
look up! Again. Lightly and facelessly
depths lean toward you from above. The serene
countenance dissolved in night makes room for yours.
Paris, April 1913
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