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Poetry is everywhere


Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing.

-James Tate

Poetry is everywhere.  Whatever you label your inspiration, your Muse, poetry can be found in all places.

For example, the biggest influence on my poems is conversation.  It can be difficult to achieve, but creating a poem that reads / sounds like conversation, between reader and poet, is utterly beautiful.  Poetry is communication, as all writing is, but poetry separates itself as a Butcher cutting prose-meat, building a special intensity of emotion.

As individuals, our thought processes are unique.  We all look at the world through different eyes.  Talking to a diversity of people gives me a vast array of ideas to draw upon for my writing.  My Muse operates through my talking to others.  I could be considered a social vampire, biting into how others communicate and phrase their thoughts.

When I was in New York City for the 2013 NYC Poetry Festival, I felt sensory overload.  The thousands of different perspectives were voiced simultaneously, the fast pace flow of pedestrian traffic, the sounds of machinery and screaming cars, it all crashed into my brain.  I exploded with more inspiration than I could handle, ideas leaking out into my notebook faster than I could fully register them.

That’s just me though.

Poets, and all forms of creatives for that matter, differ from where they obtain inspiration.  The ocean may be ones poetic source.  Others may take political drive as their backbone, or may find reading the work of others to be their strongest inspirational companion.  Many find lonesome walks with their headphones plugged in to be inspiring.

We all overlook something someone else is staring at and thinking, “Hey now… That’s a good idea.“.

When Tate says, “Poetry is everywhere”, he means literally everywhere.  It’s a matter of looking, who you are, and what you are seeking.  Anything that can be communicated can be written into poetic verse.

“…it just needs editing.

What can I do when lacking inspiration?  What if I can’t find poetry anywhere?

On the days we lack inspiration, and our creative juices seem to be leaking out our ears rather out our pens, rather than simply pushing writing aside, we can draw upon writing prompts, read others blogs, listening to music, or even simply practice free-writing.

What’s free-writing?

Free-writing is the act of putting pen to paper without thought.  Just write.  Fire off words.  It may feel awkward at first, and you’ll look down thinking, “What the hell am I writing?“, but keep going.  Don’t stop.  Keep moving that pen until your hand cramps with accomplishment, and you have page after page of scribbles and thoughts.

Do not edit, do not pause, end up with garbage, and sift through the trash for diamonds in need of processing.

So poetry is everywhere.  Now what?

Begin writing!  Open your eyes poets, come out of your closets, take to the streets, share your words, blog, publish, query magazines and presses.  Poets are needed to fight the battle of cultural decay, the flash seizure media generation is pouring in.  Poetry advertises naught, it is for Self, it is to provoke emotions in others.  Grab inspiration by its wispy tail and slam it down into paper.

Poetry is for those who are mad to live.

Where do you find your inspiration?  What drives your writing?  Post it in the comment section below!  Cheers!



  1. Melanie Dunbar

    I do a lot of freewriting…even if I have to start with a list, or even, “I can’t write about…” I usually come up with at least one good poem out of pages of a freewrite. I also record bits on my smartphone–sentences or even just impressions of situations, or scenery, or people- to capture the immediate emotion that I want to express. I try to write those down, too, but the odds and ends of paper notes can be hard to assemble when you are ready to sit and write.

    • I like that you focus on capturing emotion like that. I like to use imagery to provoke emotions, and have that be the poem’s goal. It’s a good exercise. Thanks for sharing your input. Cheers!

  2. Very true words! you just described my inspiration and what drives it, All you have to do is put your pen to paper and begin right? 🙂

  3. Pingback: A funky creative writing exercise | Nostrovia! Poetry

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