Tuesday 25 May 2010

Does poetry inspire you to pretty up your prose?

Firstly, your comments to my post yesterday were so heartwarming, and I want to thank you all for being so honest and sincerely interested in what I have to say. You have no idea how much it comforts me. Where are you people in my 3 dimentional life?


Has poetry ever inspired you to pretty up your prose? If so, what poetry has inspired you and why?

A couple of my favourite poets are:
Christina Rossetti for her dark sexual imagery
Gwen Harwood for her metaphoric portrayal of motherhood, music and the stifled woman.

One of my favourite poems of Gwen's is called 'Sea Anemones'. Tell me, do you like it? Does it not give you shivers? If so, what gives you those shivers?

Grey mountains, sea and sky. Even the misty
seawind is grey. I walk on lichened rock
in a kind of late assessment, call it peace.
Then the anemones, scarlet, gouts of blood.
There is a word I need, and earth was speaking.
I cannot hear. These seaflowers are too bright.
Kneeling on rock, I touch them through cold water.
My fingers meet some hungering gentleness.
A newborn child’s lips moved so at my breast.
I woke, once, with my palm across your mouth.
The word is: ever. Why add salt to salt?
Blood drop by drop among the rocks they shine.
Anemos, wind. The spirit, where it will.
Not flowers, no, animals that must eat or die.

If you aren't the kind who gets into poetry, what kind of writing inspires you to 'decorate' your work?


Sheri @ Writers' Ally aka S.A. Larsen has a TEN BOOK GIVEAWAY going on and is open INTERNATIONALLY.
Simply FILL OUT the form at her blog HERE.

She also has an amazing contest going on.
TO ENTER THE CONTEST you have to write a caption, paragraph, shortie or flash fiction and tell her what this little guy is thinking ...

Think out of the box. (This on is limited to inside the US.) To check out the GOODS click the link I provided above.

Sheri's got some AWESOME prizes going, so don't miss out!

Oh, and OOPS. I was supposed to post Beth Zimmerman's tag. Tomorrow Beth! I promise! ;)


  1. That is a beautiful poem and yes, poetry definitely inspires me, and I write a bit of it myself!

    Great post and congrats on the 300 followers!

    Have a great day!

  2. I like reading poetry, but what really inspires me is Tolkien's prose. It's so beautiful and artistic. I wish I could write half as good as him without sounding like I'm rambling on.

    That is a very beautiful poem, by the way. Very vivid.

  3. I love poetry. It always makes me think. Good thing, bad thing...not sure. LOL

    Thanks for the awesome plug, my dear. And, don't shoot me but you're tagged on my blog today. Yikes...overload. Blame Candace. She tagged me like a month ago.

    My bad.

  4. I suppose you can say poetry inspires me. I do dabble a bit myself but I was into Shelly's work a few years back .
    I loved the poem that was on your post today, simply wonderful.

    Have a great day.

  5. That poem is gorgeous. The imagery is so vivid, making the message behind the metaphors come to life.

    The quality of my writing definitely improved when I began studying poetry. I'd always admired literary writers for their beautiful prose. Poetry opened my ears to sound devices that can transform average thoughts into something sacred to read. I'm mindful to incorporate, for example, alliteration, assonance, metaphor and simile into my writing. Too much is overkill, but a sprinkling here and there is definitely transforming.

    Looking forward to reading that poem three or four more times.

  6. There's a lot of poetry I don't get...mostly because I'm too lazy to mull it over. Once in awhile though, something seeps in and I totally 'get' it.

    Most of the poetry around this house is kid's stuff. I usually get that, LOL

  7. What a beautiful poem! I read it several times. Why add salt to salt? Wow, that says so much. I think poetry is probably the most difficutlt literary form to write. I admire poets for their ability to condense images and feelings into few words that paint a vivid picture. Reading poetry reminds me how important the right word is.

  8. What a fun contest!!!

    Poetry does inspire me quite a bit of the time, I don't have any specific poem, but I do know that visiting The World of Poetry's blog always keeps me inspired, she shares some beautiful pieces. I would say mostly around the blogosphere those who dabble in poetry are a huge inspiration!

  9. Reading poetry doesn't really help me with my writing. I read it because it's beautiful. It's amazing how much can be fit in such a small amount of space. Oh -wait! There's a way it helps me...show me to tighten up my writing. YAY!


  10. I love poetry but I try not to let it influence my writing too much. I love things like rhythm and cadence but if I let my prose get too poetic it often looks purple.

    Two of my favorite poems (I'm a sucker for the classics) are:

    Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (Mary Shelley's husband I believe).

    Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    Thanks for sharing Jessica, I loved that poem.

  11. It’s more common for poets to dabble in prose than for prosers to dabble in poetry. I came to prose after years of writing poetry and I approached it in the same fashion, how things were said was more important than what was being said. I expect my prose to flow from the first sentence to the last and that doesn’t matter if it’s a short story or a novel. I’ve actually taken lines out of my poems and incorporated them into my novels and you can’t see the join.

  12. I've never been able to connect with poetry -- writing it or reading it. But I am inspired when an author has very poetic prose in their writing (like Maggie Stiefvater).

  13. I didn't know there was a limit of 300 on blogger until recently, either. Burns big time, especially when you have to figure out which ones to unfollow. Then I feel like a meany. :(

    I'm not one for reading poetry. I could never follow it. I envy those who can. Their writing's probably better for it.

  14. I used to love Maya Angelou and Jewel. But anymore, I live verse novels like Ellen Hopkins. They're so much more real, to me.

  15. Poetry can definitely be inspiring to me, but really what gets me is prose from authors far better than I am. Like Daphne du Maurier, her description is delicious! :) I've posted on it about a billion times, because it really is inspiring. :)

  16. I envy anyone who can write good poetry. I wish I could do it. In fact, I have to force any decoration (and that usually means good descriptions) into my work. It's an area where I struggle.

  17. I have to admit, I don't really get poetry. And usually I cringe at the flowery prose and imagery. I tend to be a bit more pragmatic in my wording. However, like Emily said above, the cadence of Tolkein's writing is inspiring. What really makes my descriptive juices flow, however, is a clever juxtaposition of contrasting ideas that give a simple description big impact.

  18. I don't read very much poetry. But a beautiful piece (Robert Frost is a favorite) definitely inspires me.

  19. I DIDN'T realize there was a limit on following! That stinks! Can you follow some with google reader, instead? I guess though, I mostly read the blogs in my sidebar and that requires a blogger follow, or manually adding.

    On poetry--I love the one you included, but I'm picky about it--so picky that I don't have the patience to week through it myself because if someone is way over my head it just annoys me. I love reading prose that has exactly the perfect words, but, like with the poems, if it is overshot, it ruins it--I hate flowery writing or over-description, so I tend to keep my stories in approachable language.

  20. Shoot--and I forgot to tell you that I left you an award on my blog!

  21. Poetry always inspires me. I just said to someone that I want to lock myself up for a year with just poetry.

  22. I like reading poetry but understand my limitations - I can't write it. What DOES inspire me to pretty up my prose is when I read a really great literary novel, like Gargoyle. I write commercial fiction and most of the "fluff" gets cut. But sometimes when I read beautiful, flowing, descriptive text, my muse bucks the genre.

  23. I have to admit im not much into poentry but I´m quite a lot into music. And to listen to words like: People hearing without listening...echoes the sound of silence, and million other goodies inspire me a lot.

  24. Poetry kinda scares me, but sometimes I can get wrapped up in it. But I'm more inspired by words I hear spoken to juice my prose.

  25. I believe good prose is poetry, in a way. Good prose has its own imagery and rhythm. I've had to sacrifice the poetic opening line to my novel, but in my heart I'm still hoping to work it in somewhere.

  26. You know, I was *just* mulling over poetry today, thinking, I should read more of it, infuse more sentences with lyrical turns of phrases. Not a lot, just those that startle a reader out of complacency. Huh.

  27. I'm not a poet, so I guess the answer is no.
    However, the kid with fries in his nose is inspiring!

  28. Photos and music inspire me rather than words...

  29. I've never been into poetry I'm afraid, though that poem is beautiful. Some authors really inspire me to "decorate" my work, like Holly Black for example.

    I had no idea there was a 300 limit on blogs you can follow? How can that be, when some people have over 1000 followers so you know they're following a whole lot of blogs. If you figure out how to work around it, please let us know - I'm sure I'll be there very soon!

  30. Hi Jessica, thank you for the visit and comment, the music is "My Mother's Eyes" sung by Connie Francis.


  31. I've never been into poetry. Okay, if you count high school when I was (like ever other teenager) going through a phase. I admire poetry, however, just don't love it enough to actively seek it out. *Ducks the tomatoes*

  32. Beautiful poem.

    I love poetry. I tend to just like reading it now though. But I guess it probably does inspire me in ways I'm not aware of.

  33. I have always been enamored with poetry, but I too know my limitations. Poetry can get a bit like experimental jazz, where the rhythm and cadence is gone and it becomes a willy-nilly mess (to me). I don't mind working for it (I have the complete works and sonnets of Shakespeare and even love SOC prose like J.J.'s Ulysses), but when it gets too high-brow self-indulgent and unstructured, I'm out.

    Yes, poetic, lush prose makes me happy. So does spare, concise prose. (Hemingway, for example)

    Lovely poem. :)

  34. I love those poems...

    my personal favourite (Blake):

    Tyger tyger burning bright
    in the forests of the night...

    That always inspires me...

    Love 'If', too (Kipling)

    ps. I've tagged you on my site, check it out!

  35. I love beautiful poems, though I don't think I can fully appreciate them. It's the pretty prose I encounter in others' novels that inspire to prettify my own writing. However, sometimes, it's the concise prose that is the most beautiful, to me. :)

  36. Wonderful poem, so glad you shared!
    I love poetic prose; I do think poems do help our writing. The descriptions give a lyrical feel to them. I love Mary Oliver and many more...

    Fun post!

  37. (Okay, completely random piece of information, I changed my blog url like a week ago, and I thought it would automatically transfer people through, but it doesn't, and my mom couldn't find my blog updates (ha) so if you haven't seen any blog updates on your feed, could you pretty please refollow? beyeager.blogspot.com is the new URL. I'm so sorry about this!!!)

  38. I've never really read poetry..I suppose I should, I may learn something..

  39. Poetry is so great. It says so much in so many different ways. I say it's a message behind a message. I didn't like poetry until it became plain to me. I am very much so into poetry now and reading others who are inspiring.


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