The Spontaneity Factor

August 22, 2010  |  Poetry Prompt  |  Comments Off on The Spontaneity Factor

In Mary Oliver’s popular poem, The Summer’s Day, she asks,

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

This question I pose to myself often, as choices arise.  Following my own bursts of energy in response to options seems to work best.  If it enlivens and excites me, it’s probably   where I belong.  But trusting my bliss is not easy for a triple Capricorn.  Responsibilities loom.  When my choice feels like an axe between my “should”-er blades and my energy drains, it is pretty obvious I am swimming upstream.

Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem. –Rollo May

For me, the delight of inspiration; images, language and metaphor bubbling into my consciousness to spill onto the page is equal to the joy of crafting those words into form.  Right brain/left brain— poetry is a bridge between the two.

Maybe it was the clear winter light and the white foam that sparked it. My friend, Nathalie and I were strolling on New Brighton beach, chatting about our mutual passion for inspiring creativity in others.  We both love dance and painting and poetry.   As our combined ideas began to flow, we could feel the burst of energy and enthusiasm. We imagined offering a day of spontaneous expression in a nurturing circle of women.

We envisioned a — Day Spa for the Soul.

So we’ve co-created a day  —  rich with nourishing fun, booked a venue and now can’t wait for you to come along and join us  on Monday, the 6th of September.

PS.  Don’t forget to enter our poetry prompt competition.

Poetry tears down Walls

July 20, 2010  |  Poetry Prompt  |  2 Comments

So how does it work?  I write these words, press a button and you, wherever you are, can access them within seconds. The ancient barriers of geography and time dissolve.

This is the role that poetry has played for millennia.

I did not trust it for a moment,

but I drank it anyway,

the wine of my own poetry.

It gave me the daring

to take hold

of the darkness

and tear it down

and cut it into little pieces.

Lalla*  translated by Coleman Barks, from Naked Song

These words first spoken in 14 th century India resonate and change me forever.

Poetry tears down walls between cultures, genders, and historical periods. It tears down darkness, ignorance, and fear.  Poetry connects us to our humanness as holocaust survivor, Jacques Lusseyran, explains below…

“There was one thing that terror could achieve… that hundreds of men seething in the barracks were silent. Only terror and. . . poetry. If someone recited a poem, all hushed one by one, as coals go out. One hand drew these men together. One cloak of humanness covered them.

“There I learned that poetry is an act, an incantation, a kiss of peace, a medicine. I learned that poetry is one of the rare, very rare things in the world which can prevail over cold and hatred.”

A quote from “Poetry in Buchenwald” an essay in Against the Pollution of the Pollution of the I by Jacques Lusseyran.

If you are fortunate enough to live in the Byron area, join us for our Poetry Without Walls Poetry Day Celebration, 1st August ( see events and workshops).  Feast on words and music and watch the walls come tumbling down….

When I read the lines.. I see you are lovely, hateful, naked girl.

Your lips in the mirror tremble as I refuse

to know or claim you. Let me go—let me be gone.

The walls of age crumble and I am 13 again, gazing into a mirror, raw, trembling on the cusp of womanhood.

Judith Wright’s Naked Girl and the Mirror is a perfect example of a poem written to a specific audience— in this case, an adolescent girl speaks to her mirror.  ( See poetry prompt #1) We hope you will respond to this prompt and send us your poem…

Looking forward to seeing or hearing from you soon…


Byron Bay Dreaming

July 1, 2010  |  Poetry Prompt  |  2 Comments

Laura Jan Shore

Have you ever dreamt of a cabin in the rainforest with its own waterfall and natural plunge pool, with an abundant garden and mountain vistas?  Imagine being alone to write, uninterrupted.

Mystery Falls was the paradise I retreated to, in 1996, on the North Coast of NSW far from the frenzy of NY state.  Cocooned in my study, I read and wrote poetry until dawn.  But as the years passed and I found myself reading aloud to the resident carpet snake in the rafters and declaiming verse over the roar of the waterfall, I began to feel a bit mad!

The competitive world of many poets vying for a few awards and places in literary magazines seemed alien and far away.  To the thrum of cicadas, I rocked in my hammock on the veranda and conjured up an imaginary community of poets sharing favourite books, offering supportive feedback, even forming a collective poetry press to market each other’s work.

This vision drew me down the winding dirt road back into town to organize a monthly poetry reading at the local bookstore.  In 2002, with ten founding members, Dangerously Poetic Press was incorporated.

Now we’ve published nine books, offered monthly readings and cabarets, workshops and competitions.

I have found my family, an intimate circle with a shared passion for beautiful words.

With our new-look website and blog, we open our arms beyond our idyllic community of Byron Shire. Inviting you to connect, offer comments, experiment with our poetry prompts or join an online poetry circle.  I had to leave  the forest, but you can have it all —  a lonely cabin anywhere in the world and an online family of fellow poets!

We will be providing poetry prompts each month to inspire you to write.  You can send your  results to us via our contact page and we will publish the poem we find most successful in response to each prompt.

Read the Poetry Prompt #1.