Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it begins as did all the fine arts, within the original wilderness of the earth. —Mary Oliver
This Sunday is World Poetry Day. Even if you don’t consider yourself a poet, poetic language, imagery, and a sense of poetic rhythm are essential tools for any writer. Mary Oliver writes, “A poem on the page speaks to the listening mind.” For many of us, the sound of the spoken word remains in echo whenever we read words on a page. This is how we know when writing is elegant, or gripping, or brutal. These are our tools, and every writer uses them, whether or not we realize it.
Spring always strikes me as a poetic moment. It’s the time of year when nature is waking, budding, daring to create. It’s easy to see why the Transcendentalists found nature so inspiring—it’s a world of vivid sensory experiences: sights, sounds, and smells that reflect or even create our emotional state. Who can stand at the edge of an ocean without thinking about its endless cycles, its violent moods, its vast, hidden depths? Looked at in a certain light, a red wheelbarrow beside white chickens can create a sense of nostalgia so deep that it requires analysis in high schools across the country.
The World—And The Page—Are Calling
You can’t expect inspiring output without inspiring input.
You can’t expect inspiring output without inspiring input. Right now, nature is at work, and in a few months, the world will be transformed. Go for a walk or simply take a look around; you’ll see a part of your own journey reflected there. This moment is calling you to join it in creation.