Tomorrow is the first theme day for the WordCount Blogathon. The theme is “5 movies that have inspired my blogging.” I was going to write that post today because I have another post already planned for tomorrow. However, as much as I racked my brain, I could only come up with two movies that have inspired my blogging. I even scrolled through 150+ blog posts to see if I could use some creative license. Nothing.
So, I decided to change it up a bit. I’m going to write about 5 poets who have inspired my blogging (or rather, writing in general) at one point or another. These poets, and many others, are constant sources of inspiration for me – not just for the pieces I’m going to share.
Stephen Crane – Well, duh! My blog is titled after one of his poems. Of course, I’ve seen the poem written two ways and the one I used is the less common. But I like the sound of “I shall be a toad” better than “I will, then, be a toad.”
I found another piece I wrote years ago that was inspired by another Stephen Crane poem. Here’s the poem and an excerpt from that piece:
“You lie,” he cried,
And ran on.
My contradictions are lacking their balance. Damn cusp. Damn planets.
I almost want to be normal . . . want to be content with conformity . . . content with sheepish ignorance. Would certainly simplify everything. But none of that is who I am and it never will be. My horizon may be forever changing, forever moving, forever unattainable . . . but I will forever run on.
Anne Sexton – I’ve written several pieces over the years that were directly inspired by Anne Sexton. One of my absolute favorite poems ever is Cinderella.
The most recent piece that was inspired by Anne Sexton was posted just a few days ago, Raising Words.
Sonia Sanchez –
i have cried all night
tears pouring out of my forehead
sluggish in pulse,
tears from a spinal soul
that run in silence to my birth
ayyyy! am i born? i cannot peel the flesh.
i hear the moon daring
to dance these rooms.
O to become a star.
stars seek their own mercy
and sigh the quiet, like gods.
The following is an excerpt from a piece that was, in part, inspired by this poem:
How can I hate myself so much and feel so defensive at the same time? It just doesn’t make sense.
My wrist is raw, probably doesn’t help that I’m allergic to rubber. At what point does the coping mechanism for the coping mechanism become just as bad? I can’t really eat, can’t really sleep, living on iced tea and cigarettes. Another vice. Finally catch a few minutes of sleep. Phone rings. She says it’s what I’ve always known, it’s how I was raised. Says it was easy for me. Snap.
I want the world to disappear just for a moment. Snap. I want to feel that release. Snap. That perfect moment of calm as the metal hits my skin. Snap. Control the pain and the rest seems so far off in the distance it doesn’t hurt anymore. Snap. Make the world disappear, if only for a moment.
Don Riggs – I wrote a post last year about how Don Riggs inspired me. The cliff notes version of that post is that Don Riggs is a professor and poet whom I met during my senior year of high school. He autographed a copy of a book he co-edited for me and gave me some valuable advice on my poetry.
My favorite line from one his poems and a personal mantra: Proceed in your normative skeptical bell-curve trajectory; Me, I’ve got a date with Persephone. ~From You know if you were interested, I’d tell you
Pablo Neruda –
Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.
Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.
My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.
~From Your Laughter
The following piece, inspired by this poem, was written the night before my ex-husband moved out:
Sat down tonight to explain things to a 2 year old that a 2 year old just cannot understand. You know mommy loves you, right? She smiled big and shook her head. You know daddy loves you, right? She smiled big and shook her head. Do you love mommy and daddy? She smiled big and said, sure. I told her how tomorrow she will be going to Poppa’s house with daddy and that mommy’s not going.
But I want to stay mommy.
No, mommy is staying here. You’re going with daddy to Poppa’s house.
I going Poppa’s house with daddy? Ohhhhhh.
I told her in a few days she will come back and stay with mommy, but daddy will go back to Poppa’s. She gave me a big hug and a big smile. I held back the tears.
I sat for with her in her room for a long time tonight . . . cuddling, listening to her heartbeat, tickling, and pretending to catch lightning bugs. We watched Alice in Wonderland for a while and she is finishing up on her own now . . . I am listening to her comments and laughter . . . relishing in it . . . tomorrow night will be so quiet . . . so empty.
I know that this is best for her . . . know that she is still so young that she will see this more as fun than anything else. Poppa’s house has Aunt Joi . . . and Uncle Toya . . . and Jayden . . . and of course, a pool. It will be exciting and by the time the excitement wears off, it will be normal. That knowledge pushes me forward, but still, my heart is breaking. She is my world, my life, the one I felt grow inside of me, the one I fought so hard to nourish naturally, the one whose very existence has given my life meaning.
Tomorrow night will be so quiet . . . so empty.