An Ironic Look at the Process of Inspiration–“The Formula”

It’s been a little more than a week now since I’ve had the opportunity to put up another poem of my own, and while I understand that one can’t always be inspired to work on specific things or in specific ways, there’s still that sense of frustration that arises when a “dry spell” occurs.  So, I decided to write a poem about that; one gets one’s topics where one can, after all!

The Formula

"Sit and think for a bit,
It'll come to you;
It always has before,
Why should now be any different?"
And yet, now is now
And then was then,
And poetry
Is not made to order.
Unresponsive to logic
Even in its most rhetorical form,
It follows a line and melody
All its own,
Declines to be summoned
Except with most respect;
Stays only to hear
Its own self speak,
Though it insists on
Not being thought
A pompous twit, a prig,
But a voice from a heavenly aether,
Or a cloud.
What a put-up job!
Attributing itself
To a series of unknowables
Or unmeasurables, in the course of things,
Like muses, twilit nights, the moon,
Sorrows, radiant sunshine,
Genius or capacity for self-deception,
Really, what has ever been
More uncompromising than poetry?
More querulous, hard to please,
Stubborn, self-dramatic,
Quick to anger,
Slow to compromise,
And all-in-all
Difficult to compose
And call one's own?
Yet, I suppose
If I wait for just a bit,
Give it a chance to seem humble
As if dropping in on me unawares,
Uninvited and unheralded,
Then I won't have to threaten it
With becoming prosy,
With writing a short story instead.

©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 2/28/17

Who knows if I will be able to continue poetry posts in the near future?  Yet I couldn’t resist sharing this wry expression of frustration at an at least mild case of writer’s block.  Shadowoperator



Filed under Literary puzzles and arguments, Poetry and its forms and meanings, What is literature for?

3 responses to “An Ironic Look at the Process of Inspiration–“The Formula”

  1. Poetry is a strange beast, it can come in so many different forms but is also so elusive at times. Your output has been very impressive this year. my friend, some would just keep cranking out words even if inspiration didn’t strike but your honesty is refreshing and inspiring in itself. Sometimes I find visualising poking my own brain with a stick then swirling all the brain matter around actually inspires words to pour forth. Odd I know!

    • Dear Ste J, Please do NOT poke your brain with a stick, and swirling’s right out! Save that marvelous mental organ of yours to share with the rest of us. Thanks a lot for encouraging me; I’m trying to think up stratagems (short of brain-revisualizations); yours is a new one, I’ll have to admit!

      • I like to be different! Sometimes I look at art and that inspires me, independent artists are usually happy to let you post their works with a poem in return for a link so if you like the artist it’s a nice win/win for both of you.

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