I have read something that enticed my soul and inspired the very crevices of my mind and I thought it best to share such an experience with others.

Here is an excerpt from a text entitled ‘Letters to a Young Poet’:

You ask me if your verses are good. You ask me. You have asked others before me. You send them to journals. You compare them with other poems and you worry if certain editors refuse your efforts. Now, as you have given me permission to advise you, I beg you to give up all that. You are directing your thoughts outwards, and that above all is what you should not do at present. No one can advise and help you, no one. There is only one way. Withdraw into yourself. Explore the reason that bids you write, find out if it has spread out its roots in the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die, if writing should be denied to you. Above all, ask yourself in the stillest hour of the night, “Must I write?” Dig deep into yourself for an answer. And if this answer should be in the affirmative, if you can meet this solemn question with a simple strong “I must,” then build up your life according to this necessity. Your life right down to its most indifferent and unimportant hour must be a token and a witness to this compulsion. Then approach nature. Try to express what you see and experience and love and lose as if you were the first man alive. Do not write love-poems. Avoid those forms which are too trite and commonplace: they are the hardest, for a great and mature power is needed to give of one’s own where good and often brilliant traditions throng upon one. Therefore betake yourself from the usual themes to those which your everyday life offers you. Paint your sadnesses and your desires, your passing thoughts and your belief in some kind of beauty—paint all that with quiet and modest inward sincerity; and to express yourself use the things that surround you, the pictures of your dreams and the objects of your recollections. When your daily life seems barren, do not blame it; blame yourself rather and tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the creative worker knows no barrenness and no poor indifferent place. And even if you were in a prison, whose walls prevented all the bustle of the world from reaching your senses, even then would you not still have your childhood, that precious, kingly wealth, that treasure-house of memories? Turn your attention towards it. Try to recall the forgotten sensations of that distant past; your personality will strengthen itself, your loneliness will extend itself and become a dusky dwelling and the noise of others will pass by it far away. And when from this turning inwards, from this retreat into your own world verses come into being, then you will not think of asking anyone, whether they are good verses. Nor will you try to get journals interested in these works, for you will see in them your own loved and natural possession, a part and an expression of your life. A work of art is good, when it is born of necessity. In this question of its origin lies the criterion according to which it may be judged. There is no other. Therefore, dear Sir, I would give you no advice but this—to retire into yourself and sound the depths in which your life has its source; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it just as it is, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps it will be shown that you are called to be an artist. Then take your destiny upon your shoulders and bear it with its burden and its greatness without ever asking for the reward which might come from without. For the creator must be a world in himself and must find everything in himself and in nature, to whom he has attached himself.

It’s a lie that poetry is only read by or “speaks to” people in the universities or elite intellectual circles; in many such places, poetry barely speaks at all.

Poems are written and absorbed, silently and aloud, in prisons, in prairie kitchens, urban basement workshops, branch libraries, battered women’s shelters, homeless shelters, offices, a public hospital for disabled people, an HIV support group. A poet can be born in a house with empty bookshelves. Sooner or later, s/he will need books.

Adrienne Rich, What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics, 1994. (via insufficientmind)

(via whine-time)

My mum is alive in my dreams which makes waking up sad. But at least in my dreams there is no sadness.

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