Reading poetry and creative inspiration are like peanut butter and jelly. I don’t usually read poetry books, but I do read several poetry blogs. occasionally I’ll do a basic search for poetry online. Poetry is the consummate creative form. Some believe stringing words together is simple. I have written poetry and believe me when I say, it is not easy. If you are interested check out my poetry blog (yep, got one of them too) here.
I find even the simplest of poems evoke strong emotions, are relatable for many individuals, and most of all make us think. What could be more inspiring?
The Visuals of Reading Poetry
Poetry is highly visual. The words create images that many visual artists wish they could create by hand. Or at least that’s me. Reading poetry opens the mind to think in ways that prose cannot. Stories and dialogue paint the picture for the reader. Poetry forces the reader’s emotion to create the image. For each of us, that image will be different.
Drawing for example comes with a rhythm. From line to line, shading, even the various shapes the artist creates, the artist develops a “flow.” Reading and writing poetry can help hone this ability. The same works for photography. I’ve learned that besides light, composition is a key to a good photo. Finding the right subject for the shot is how the photo tells its story. Reading poetry can help the photographer think about photo composition. In a sense, using poetry is like researching your location and subject without knowing exactly what you are looking for.
I usually find my images in the spur of the moment. The “study” of poetry helps me to look for potential images where I would least look. However, after reading an article by Jim Richardson, I may just use my poetry reading as a foundation to researching potential images.
Regardless of what your artistic pursuit in life is, take a few minutes and read some poetry. Whether it be some Dr. Seuss, Poe, Frost, or some random poetry blog, I guarantee you will find some form of inspiration. If nothing else, it will motivate you to step back and look for new perspectives. Who knows, you may even write some of your own.