Some people sit down and poems seem to come to them, unbidden. I find courses help me to enlist the Muse's help - or is it self-belief? - and tap into my creativity.
After a fairly dry month poetry-wise, I started a Poetry School course with John McAuliffe last Tuesday evening. It's absolutely great to be back in the classroom! John is such a fun tutor - enthusiastic, energetic, knowledgeable - and how! But more importantly, supportive and encouraging. We took a look at Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rilke - a poem I love and which I've featured on this blog. Then Leda and the Swan by Yeats which was new to me. Our homework is to write a sonnet, but to deconstruct the form and make our own of it. Yikes! I left the class buzzing, but with no idea of what I would write. By the time I got home I knew what I wanted to write about and started as soon as I got in, aided by a couple of glasses of red wine, which I frequently find helpful! I woke early on Wednesday with more thoughts and by Wednesday night I had a first draft to work on. To me, this is always the start of the most exciting stage of making a poem. Now I've been through several drafts, my poem is looking in ok shape and I'm relieved to be back in the saddle.