Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What Sparked Your Poetic Heart?

Welcome to the first day of “Poems in April”, dear Toads. 30 prompts in 30 days, and I give you my oath that this is not an April Fools’ Day joke. In fact, today’s prompt covers a topic that is serious and fun and that tends to say with us: our poetic beginnings.

I found my spark while reading Memoirs, by Pablo Neruda, five years ago. The following words left me shaking (I know; a tad melodramatic, but histrionics should be allowed when the emotions are true):

“…it’s the words that sing, they soar and descend… I bow to them… I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down… I love words so much… The unexpected ones… The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop… Vowels I love… They glitter like colored stones, they leap like silver fish, they are foam, thread, metal, dew… I run after certain words… They are so beautiful that I want to fit them all into my poem… I catch them in midflight, as they buzz past, I trap them, clean them, peel them, I set myself in front of the dish, they have a crystalline texture to me, vibrant, ivory, vegetable, oily, like fruit, like algae, like agates, like olives… And I stir them, I shake them, I drink them, I gulp them down, I mash them, I garnish them, I let them go… I leave them in my poem like stalactites, like slivers of polished wood, like coals, pickings from a shipwreck, gifts from the waves… Everything exists in the word…” ~ Memoirs, by Pablo Neruda
I’ve used the cover of a Spanish edition because the English translation cuts the title down to just Memoirs. And I wanted to share the whole thing with you: I Confess that I Have Lived, Memories. So much is said in those words…

Your poetic mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write a new poem inspired by the first poem, poet or written work that sparked your poetry. Please make sure that your link goes directly to the poem, not your homepage. Visit other Toads and have a serious blast.  

19 comments:

Magaly Guerrero said...

It seems that Mr. Linky has vanished... from every one of our entries. Any ideas?

Magaly Guerrero said...

Never mind...

grapeling said...

Hey Magaly, I chose a different route - hope it's ok to post it here. Cheers, and happy writing, all. ~ M

Marian said...

Hello, April!!
Love this prompt, Magaly.
I think I'm going to be a day behind for the prompts I respond to. With any luck, not a dollar short. Just confessing.
We can do this! Write like the spring breeze!

hedgewitch said...

Magaly, I have already written that poem ( it is here: http://versiscape-lifesentences.blogspot.com/2011/06/caryatid.html ) but I have written a new one that covers a similar moment in my life, a place and a time where I first found poetry in myself, along with the bones what would become my life. I hope that is okay.

Magaly Guerrero said...

@grapeling, if it makes you happy...

@Marian, I'm sure we'll wait for you. ;-)

@hedgewitch, sometimes I forget that I might be the only one here who hasn't been doing this for very long, lol!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is such an inspiration to us at the start of NaPoWriMo. Thank you for steering us in a heartfelt direction, Magaly.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

WOW! I have just read so many brilliant poems sparked by this prompt, I am winded. Bravo, everyone! Whew. Great start to the month. Before my morning cup of tea, and already I am blown away.

Kerridwen said...

It's a bit of a toughie trying to figure out what was the one thing that sparked my poetic endeavours, but my poem is written in a style (I think) I enjoyed a lot. It's probably shaped at least a tad by what I read, so .. ;)

Other Mary said...

Thank you so much for doing the prompt every day for April. I am linking my first poem of the month, and I almost followed the prompt. :o)

Ella said...

Thank you Magaly for this wonderful prompt~

ccchampagne said...

The biggest problem with NaPoWriMo is that there are suddenly just too much inspiration everywhere... Have already written mine for today (for the NaPoWriMo prompt) so will sit this one out, but will be back to check here again soon... And good luck to everyone!

Ella said...

I want the book you mentioned-thank you for such a glorious beginning!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Thanks for the prompt. I'm trying this again. I haven't written in a while because I felt I had nothing to say. Let's hope that's changed.

Shalom, baby, Mosk

Outlawyer said...

Cool prompt, Magaly--I will not be able to comment till late as going to a concert--but will come round. k.

Susie Clevenger said...

Great prompt! Life is always interrupting my pen. Keep my daughter Dawn in your thoughts and prayers that her CT scan will be clean!

Hannah said...

Begin at the beginning...I like that! Thank you, Magaly and happy PAD to you all! :)

Magaly Guerrero said...

I am so glad everybody has enjoyed the prompt, or found a way to have a blast anyway. Yay! for strong beginnings.

@Susie, I'll keep her in my thoughts. And while you are saying your prayer, throw in my name too... I'm going in tomorrow for a bit of the same.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Coming a bit late to this, sorry. Wasn't going to do a month of poems this year, as I am somewhat unwell at the moment, but this was such a nice prompt, and so is the next one, which I shall catchup with shortly.... I find here a gentleness that suits me at the moment. :)