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poem by Hugh Cook

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[poem about inspiration poetic inspiration]

Inspiration

Loafing around waiting for inspiration to arrive,
Dropping in naturally from a party with the gods,
Waiting to be gifted for that speck of time
Which secures the sure plan and full completion
Tends to ensure only no-go.
In truth, in all verity, right-thinkers,
Inspiration is absurd -
That falling jigsaw pieces should click together,
Hang poised in mid-air and drift to rest
Belies all natural law.

Yet even the acorn will not free from
Its close withdrawn brown cell
The embryonic ice-white shoot in spring
But for touch of sun in earth and rain.
And this is a cold morning.


Author's Note by Hugh Cook

This was my first published poem (excluding some pieces which were published in high school yearbooks) and was published in a New Zealand magazine called NZ HOME JOURNAL. So, at least, my files tell me, though the date of publication has been lost. At a guess, this poem appeared back in 1973.

This is the kind of poem I would never write now, on principle: a poem about the writing of poetry. I want (now) to go out and engage the world. But this is now. That was then.

In retrospect, one of the problems of being a young poet is that it's easy to run out of subject matter. As I post this online in January of 2004, I'm a much older poet with a comparatively vast repository of experiences and thinking time.

I've read, in places, opinions saying that writing gets more difficult as you get older. But that's not my experience.


Publication details: "Inspiration" was first published in the NZ HOME JOURNAL in 1973. [This year may be wrong though the poem was definitely first published in the early 1970s.] It first appeared online when posted on the Internet by Hugh Cook on 2004 January 17 Saturday. Copyright © 1973, 2004 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved.


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Dreams of Lothlorien


It's April now, and autumn comes,
Cooling sun and bearing leaves
To the indistinctions of the earth;

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