It's always inspiring when you read an interview with an artist or writer who reminds you that you should be 150% passionate about your work, but, IMO, these sentiments get a little old. It's not always easy to stay motivated with a creative practice, especially when the thorniness of life starts finding ways to stick you all the time.
You can read all writer interviews on The Paris Review that you want, of course, and you can console yourself with lots of great writers quasi-advice columns at Brain Pickings, but the truth is that nothing inspires a creative practice like experiencing art. Whether it's looking at paintings or watching a film, when you let yourself embrace focused leisure activities, you're bound to make connections to your own artistic passion. Now, it's not always possible to queue up a Sofia Coppola film or get to your favorite MoCA, but making time for a poem is always doable. In fact, if you sign up for something like Poem-a-Day, you pretty much have to work to avoid poetry. Do you really want to work to avoid inspiration?
I didn't think so.
Ready to kick your creative practice into overdrive? Check out these seven inspiring poems.
1"A Bird in the House" by Robin Blaser
the truth flies hungry, at least and otherous,
of which—though it may be one—Kafka said troublingly,
it has many faces
2"Capriccio of the Imaginary Prison" by Richard Garcia
This is all accomplished, even the symphonic
wrecking of the antique locomotive, in silence.
I have misplaced my whipcat and whinstone.
I try to recall something that I know.
"Le Tombeau des Lutteurs" by Kathleen Rooney
It is a tragedy, yes, but a confusing one. What happened to the wrestlers and where have they gone?
"Burning Down Suburbia" by Sjohnna McRay
How I longed for a visit. Might he come
armed with a fan brush and dressed in a button down?
"upon viewing the death of basquiat*'" by Mahogany L. Browne
I let the sun set us afire again
"Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting" by Francine Sterle
A woman in a man's world, a woman
making a claim, choosing her own body
as the source of inspiration, wearing, as Pittura did,
a gold chain bearing the mask of imitation
"Cornelius ... Cornelius Gurlitt" by Gerard Malanga
The equestrian trots drifting.
All the genres mixed up or simply misplaced.
The memories gone blank.
The mundane measured in hours, minutes, or decades, intervening, descending.