Reservoirs: Where Poetry Flows

As a fifteen-year-old poet, I often ponder the reasons why other poets write. I write for the thoughts I cannot express through music and art. I write for the exhilaration of beauty in words and for the joy of my final work. I am the sculptor, and the words are my clay; it is a release from the reservoirs of my heart, and that is my inspiration. Poetry adds another perspective to my life and the way I view the world.
 
I remember the first poem I wrote. It was for a class project, but the feeling I experienced after I wrote it was exhilarating. Writing the poem itself wasn't exciting—I viewed it as any other assignment. But when I read my finished work, I felt a sort of inward bond with my favorite poet at the time, Shel Silverstein. If he could write silly poems and quirky lines, why couldn't I? That's when my love for poetry emerged. Phillip Sterling, author of Mutual Shores and Significant Others, draws upon those lines similarly. He describes his inspiration as “the sound of laughter . . . which came from the word-play and punning that was often bantered around my family's dinner table.” In contrast, author of Emergences and Spinner Falls, Rob Haight's inspiration was music, something I never would have thought of as a child to be so closely related to poetry. “I was always memorizing the lyrics of songs I liked, singing them as I walked along, and making up my own songs.” he said. “Once I was exposed in school to poetry from my own time period, the lyric quality of the poetry worked its magic on me and I was moved to write my own. I like words.”
 
Beyond a childhood filled with emerging talent, Sue Silverman discusses how her career took her writing to a higher altitude. Silverman said she actually began her writing career as a prose writer. After penning two memoirs, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You and Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction, she turned to a new direction—poetry. “I also felt an almost palpable need to explore different aspects of myself—and the world I envisioned—and my strong sense was that I needed to turn to verse in order to do so. I wrote the whole collection, Hieroglyphics in Neon , in about a year or so. It was the most freeing and joyful writing experience of my life.”
 
As well as writing for himself, poet laureate of South Dakota and author of The Bull Rider's Advice: New and Selected Poems David Evans said he writes for his integrity and for his survival as a person. “I also write for those who love poetry as I do,” he stated, “hoping I can say something and do something in my poems that they will enjoy and appreciate and even be inspired by—something that can make their lives a little easier or happier or worthwhile by reading what I wrote.”
 
Over the years, the way I write poetry and the zeal I have for it continues to mold into stronger bonds as well as what keeps my desire for it alive. “What feeds my inspiration?” Sterling wrote. “Rain, breakfast cereal, my dog . . . the song of a bird I don't know the name of . . . a woman walking her tiny dog on the bike trail . . .”
 
Poetry isn't always about the little things of life according to Rob Haight . Sometimes inspiration is “simply the mystery of being alive in a world full of amazing things. If I pay attention to what surrounds me every day, the flowers . . . light, and shadow, I am to that extent that much more alive. My poetry is a record of my experience in the world and in my life. It is a way to make sense of my life, but more than that it is a way to celebrate the gift of being alive.”

Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.