I’m a big fan of Poetry Unbound. If you haven’t heard of it, I’d recommend checking it out.
Every week a different poem is shared aloud by Pádraig Ó Tuama. He not only reads the poem, but also offers his perceptions on what the poem or the poet is speaking of.
This week I listened to “Transformation” written by Adam Zagajewski, translated by Clare Cavanagh. It’s vivid imagery and the way in which the poet expresses his dutiful search for his elusive creative spark struck a chord in me.
I haven’t written a single poem in months.
I’ve lived humbly,
reading the paper,
pondering the riddle of power and the reasons for obedience.
I’ve watched sunsets (crimson, anxious),
I’ve heard the birds grow quiet
and night’s muteness.
I’ve seen sunflowers dangling
their heads at dusk,
as if a careless hangman had gone strolling through the gardens.
September’s sweet dust gathered
on the windowsill and lizards
hid in the bends of walls.
I’ve taken long walks,
craving one thing only:
Listening to the poem and Pádraig’s critique of it got me thinking about my creative focus. By day I’m a teacher for the visually impaired and blind and by night a writer of children’s books.
My writing takes second place in my daily list of to do’s. It has to. But my creative connection is not so much lost, as the poet’s was.
It can at times feel that way, especially if afternoon or evening obligations eat into my opportunity to write. The tasks I want to get to sometimes get pushed back for days in a row and that can leave me feeling at a creative loss. Where was I? What was I trying to do? These are some of the questions I ask myself when I’ve been away from writing for too long. Don’t worry, my family thinks I’m talking to the dog. Thankfully, she’s usually close by.
I have also recognized this feeling when I’ve finalized a draft I’ve been working on for awhile. What will I do next? I wonder. Where will I find a creative spark for a new story?
Have you ever lost or misplaced your creative connection? Or have had to place it on hold? What have you done to get it back or engage it again?