In honor of Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize for "having created new poetic expressions," I wanted to share this poetry experience and an exercise for this week.
Rainy day, perfect for poetry, I thought. I settled down with tea and the stack of books.
Midway through the first volume, I had to get up and get a pen and paper. Ideas for my own writing were flooding in--vastly different from the poems I was browsing but somehow inspired by them. A small description of evening by Jane Kenyon made me remember evenings my character might have lived through, complete with the way the late summer light slanted into a room. Stanley Kunitz urged me to look for the constellation of images that follow every writer, and I began to think of this for my characters too. What images followed them around in their lives?
Your weekly writing exercise is to grab a poetry book and spend twenty minutes immersing yourself. You may not like the poems--or any poetry, for that matter. But the rhythm of poems may unlock something beautiful in your brain.
If you'd like to do this right now, click on these links:
30 great poems everyone should read