Friday, June 5, 2015

3 Ways To Inspire a Poem--Oops!

Howdy Campers!

I'm wildly inspired by the postings of my fellows at Poetry Friday today--see the link below.

Bobbi begins our What-Inspires-You series with Inspirations and Geniuses; Jo Ann is up next with the help of her camera: Zooming in on Inspiration; Esther offers An Inspiring Weekly Digest You Need to Know About; Carla opens our eyes to Inspiration From the Library of Congress; and Mary Ann touches us with tales about family members in Inspiration is a Blast From the Past.

So what are the top three things that inspire my daily poems?

1) Um...deadlines. 

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ~ Douglas Adams

I was inspired to write this post today when I was putting an appointment in my calendar...and saw that I was supposed to have posted this morning.  Oops!

"My sole inspiration is a telephone call from a director." ~ Cole Porter, composer and songwriter

Deadlines and assignments mean that I cannot take all day cleaning my proverbial closet. I write and rewrite...and bam!--even if it's not the world's most perfect piece, I post it or send it off--done!

2) Life. Especially the sad parts. 

"I've had an unhappy life, thank God." ~ Russell Baker, author, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist

The difficult and/or unhappy times of my life are rich grounds for writing.  I can create this richness, though, even when my life is humming along, if I listen to what's happening in my chest cavity. If I walk into the world looking for my poem, all senses open.

The last time my mom and I took a nature walk.  She's the shorter one.

3) Someone who believes in me.  Two or three someones is even better. 

"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher

My husband came with me on a quick trip to meet with my agent and two of my editors this week.  I wanted him to meet these significant people in my work life. New York can be exhilarating...and it can scare the pants off me, too.  It always takes me a day to remember how to use the subways and navigate the city.  His presence on the subway and in those meetings meant the world to me.

My sailing-around-the-world friend, Bruce, is a daily supporter of my work, even when he says the poem doesn't work (which, of course, he's just not reading correctly--he's clearly tired from working on the boat all day).

Every writer in my critique groups past and present and everyone in the Kidlitosphere community: we cheer each other on; that cheering echoes and echoes and echoes inside all of us.

my team

And so? Here's today's (raw) poem written 1) for a deadline, 2) based on life, and with the support of--well, all of you.

by April Halprin Wayland

bald little god
sits on the pond’s rim, 
his feet all in

his head turning side to side
toward fluttering leaves
toward ebbing tide 

below impatient clouds
which mumble, 
This is going much too slow

they snap out 
a spiky lighting streak 
and Man—does little god go!

He jumps right up and does he run!
He’s going, going, getting things

poem and drawings (c) April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

Get inspired by the bounty at Buffy's Blog today--
thanks for hosting, Buffy!

posted by April Halprin Wayland, Monkey, and our always inspired dog, Eli


Buffy Silverman said...

The whooshing noise of deadlines as they go by...that's the soundtrack of my life! But your deadline served you well--I love the surprise of the little god jumping and running, getting things done.

Joyce Ray said...

These things are great inspirations for me, too! Deadlines really do spur me on. I also respond to emotional events with poems. The process of writing helps me process the experience, I think. And a writing buddy or two or more! is the greatest inspiration. I love your drawings!

Bobbi Miller said...

This post is very inspirational! I love your poem and your drawing! Thank you!

Margaret Simon said...

I enjoyed the structure of this post with your list and quotes and cute drawings. Then we get to read your delightful poem. Thanks!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Buffy--and thanks again for hosting--such a rich gift to our community. Maybe someday I'll bravely step up for that again...

And thank you, Joyce, Bobbi and Margaret. Is it okay to say I never know exactly how to respond to comments that's as meaningful or as meaty as I'd like?


Irene Latham said...

April, I KNEW this post was written by you just by the "Oops" in the title. :) Oh, that bald little god running... so sweet the drawing you you and your mom. Thank you. xo

April Halprin Wayland said...

Hiya, Irene...Big Smile ~

Cathy said...

I just so enjoyed your poem. It seems you are also quite right about three things that inspire us to write poetry. Just having this poetry round-up on Friday each week often gets me going once again.


April Halprin Wayland said...

I'm so glad you liked the poem, Cathy--and you're right, of course--Poetry Friday can be inspiring, too!

jan godown annino said...

April your drawngs hold a sense of enchantment as does your "Looking for Inspiration," which made me laugh! Deadlines are my friends. And Nature nurtures me in so many ways. I agree about having my hubby along as a lucky charm at important times. Such a lovely article you dashed to us here.

jan godown annino said...

p.s. Hunting up a deadline to help me with my MG novel & that deadline would be a novel revision workshop/seminar/class or intensive at a conference. Are any TA's scheduling that in 2016? Or between now & end of this year? If you know of non-TA's with your excellent skills or if you are leading such an event, I'd like to know. Tnx!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Wow, Jan--thank you!

I don't know off-hand of a specific workshop/seminar/class or intensive that might help you with your MG novel. BUT...I know for a fact that our very own Esther is a fabulous writer's coach...and knowing that she (or other TAs or other authors) are on the other end waiting for revisions may just do the trick!

FM said...

Love the poem - the images, the sounds and the words - delightful!.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks, FM!