Birth of a Poem

How, pray tell, does a poet decide
Which words to lay side-by-side

How did Milton measure the cost
When he penned Paradise Lost

Could Dickinson take a single breath
Without thoughts of poetry on death

When describing Ben Adhem’s vision
By what motive was Hunt driven

Did Poe write poetry as a child
Or his odd thoughts drive him wild

How did the Brownings, poet pair
Pen sonnets of love with such flair

Did Frost truly encounter a road
From which his famous poetry flowed

How did Rosetti write love verse
Allowing the reader her faith to traverse

Did David find a sense of calm
With every line of every Psalm

Do other poets lie awake at night
Scribbling verse without the light

I desire sleep before break of day
But words come and won’t go away


The first stanza of this poem was written in the dark in the notebook I keep on my nightstand. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go, but by light of day this is what I came up with. I could have added many more stanzas with references to many more poets, but decided I needed to stop somewhere. This is for day #25 of NaPoWriMo.

5/26/16: Decided to share this for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night because I am shy on time and inspiration to write something new today.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


27 Responses

  1. I tried this…woke up because the poem kept poking me. I wrote and wrote. In the morning, couldn’t read my writing except in bits. This was a delightful read Linda….the different traits of the poets and how you did a unique list poem.

  2. So glad you shared – and so glad you keep that notebook beside your bed. Some of the most intriguing thoughts come to us when we’re half groggy with sleep in our eyes!

  3. That is supremely clever: a list poem of a very special kind. How wonderful of you to find one outstanding trait of each of those poets and play with it and wonder about the mysterious process of creativity!

  4. Oh I love everything about this…the pondering thoughts about poets, the rhyme and especially the ending. That would be me huddled in the corner with the light of the computer monitor….writing instead of sleeping.

  5. Each poet named brings something special to the table; an example to follow, and yet with words and thoughts that are our very own. No matter time of day, they are owned by us! A thoughtful poem, Linda.

  6. Linda, this is such a joy to read! There are some things that all writers share and you nailed it, my friend! My best words come rushing in the moment I close my eyes, so I schedule a siesta as often as possible to guard my nights. yeah, right…. 🙂

  7. I too can relate with your ending line ~ Some words stay with me, some disappear in thin air before I can capture them ~ Hope you feel much better ~

  8. This totally hit home. I always wonder if my favorite poets/authors ever struggled with a self-doubt as crippling as mine… even those writers whose struggles are well-documented. It seems, since I’m reading about them in a context where their talent is a matter of historical fact, that their insecurities couldn’t possibly have been so terrible– just look at the works of genius they had to produce! (This is, of course, silly) I always wonder, did they think so differently from the way I think? Where did they find their inspiration and passion? How much were their creative choices driven by intuition? etc, etc

    And it seems like your best ideas always come at night, doesn’t it? Never, of course, when you’re sitting in front of the blank page, totally prepared to write. Oh, life 😉

    • Inspiration when prepared would be just too easy, wouldn’t it? I would guess that all poets have that self-doubt, which give me hope that long after I’m gone perhaps I’ll be a famous poet. Maybe you will, too! 😉

  9. Yes Linda, I can relate to this, for sure – I’vesince taken to a small voice recorder by the bed, as I could never read my scribbles in the morning! With Best Wishes Scott

  10. Sigh, you have stirred some truly wonderful emotions and thoughts with this poem.. we do indeed wonder at times where the words come from <3

    Lots of love,

  11. You described those relatable poet-writer moments that we all love, hate and love to hate, and very creative with the questions for the poets.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: