Sunday Interview – actually, more of a guest post

Christy Birmingham


Welcome, Everyone!

Many of you may know Christy, follow her blog, or remember my previous interview of her. Today, she will be taking over my blog to talk about poetry. I have, on occasion, written a poem or two, but only when divine inspiration strikes. Maybe you and I can learn how to be more poetically inspired after reading this post.

Please welcome Christy Birmingham from Poetic Parfait!


3 Ways to Get Inspiration for Writing Poetry

Ah yes, poetry. I love to write it. Do you? If so, you may find that while the craving is there, you sometimes run out of ideas for new poems. Here are three tips for how to get inspiration to write poetry.

Connect with Nature

This technique for gaining inspiration is my favorite one. Try heading outside to a trail, park or local gardening store. Take time to breathe in the fresh air of the trees, bushes and flowers. Take time to appreciate your natural surroundings.

I often smile as I head outside for a walk, whether it is a sunny day or not. I gain an appreciation for what the earth around me has to offer me. For free. Pay attention to your senses. Listen to the birds, smell the rose at your left side and notice the way the way the trimmed hedge curves.

Upon returning to your workspace, write about what invoked your senses. What caught your eye? Was there a cyclist that intrigued you? If so, perhaps he or she is the next subject of a poem. Well, what are you waiting for? Start typing!

Enjoy Break Time

An addition reason why the nature method works for inspiration is that it encourages you to take a break from your work area. You change up your surroundings, by heading outdoors rather than staying cooped up in the office. You need breaks, even from your favorite writing desk or the couch where you wrote that brilliant Haiku two weeks ago (note to self: write a Haiku later).

When you change your surroundings, your brain forces itself to understand your new environment. It could be your friend’s house, church or a short walk on the local trail. Mix up the routine for your brain and it will thank you. Your brain also has time to relax from the strain of trying to be creative! You return refreshed to your work area and find that you write that new Haiku quickly. Perhaps your mind and body simply needed a well-deserved rest.

The break need not be a long one as you likely have a busy schedule. Even 10 minutes works well. Breaks are beneficial. Now why do I suddenly want a Kit Kat bar?

Browse Online Networks

You likely belong to at least one social media network. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or another one of the many platforms available, it’s a potential source of inspiration for your poetry writing. Here, let’s investigate this method together. Log onto Facebook, for example, and look at your network feed. There, you will see photos, artwork, quotes and status updates that your friends have recently posted.

Those posts are gems for writers. Take that post that contains a quote and use it as a poetry prompt. Gain your inspiration from the words of Shakespeare, Keats or whoever happens to show up on your network feed that day.

Photos and artwork also make for terrific prompts. Enlarge the photo on your computer screen and free write onto paper as you look at the screen. Revise the free write or simply enjoy it, as is, for the burst of inspiration it contains!

The style of poetry that you write is not relevant here. What is crucial is getting your creative thoughts flowing. Whether you head out into nature, enjoy a break, or check in on your social networking buddies, I hope your inspiration flows and your words lap the poetic shores for many days to come.


Cover of Pathways to Illumination Book

Christy Birmingham is a poet, author and freelance writer in British Columbia, Canada. Her debut poetry collection Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productions. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter too. If you haven’t been by her blog, yet, check it out here. She recently posted a review of Pathways to Illumination – 5-stars!

Congratulations, Christy, & thanks for sharing your poetic insight! 🙂

More poetry

Since it is still Poetry Month, I decided to make another post on that theme. Normally I would post this on Sunday, but I will be pretty busy getting ready for and hosting my writer’s group tomorrow, so you will get to see this early!

I came across a few more poems that I wrote awhile ago. They’re not great, but I thought I’d share them anyway. The first is:


Please can you forgive me
When all I can see
Are ghosties and ghoulies
And all sorts of foolies
And things that go bump in the night?

The things that I love
Are the flights up above,
Aliens, space ships
And fantastic night trips.
I read them constantly.

Along with those things,
I like dragons with wings,
Princesses and sword fights,
Wizards and white knights,
And anything strange or bizarre.

As you may have guessed
(And this isn’t a test)
My affliction, addiction,
Is for speculative fiction
Of which there is never enough.

I guess that is why
I gave it a try
And wrote down some of my own!

a digital image created by my son

I think I wrote this back when I first started writing seriously. It’s a silly little piece, but was a fun way to let you know some of my favourite genres to read and write.

This next one, I had running through my head as I tried to get to sleep one night. I had to get up and write it down or I’d never get any peace! I can’t quite remember what prompted me to write it. Perhaps it was an incident at work, or a show I watched about how parents sometimes don’t realize the affect they are having on their kids. It doesn’t have a title:

Parents argue.
Who cares?
Parents fight
Are they aware?
Small eyes open wide with fear
Angry words small ears will hear.

Swear words
Bite and sting.
Nasty words
Spoil everything.
Small minds begin to learn.
Small hearts begin to yearn

For silence.

Nan Emerson

While clearing out my parents’ house, I came across one of my grandmother’s books, ‘Wind-song and Other Verses’, copyright 1957 printed by Hignell Printing Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba), a book of poetry written by a friend of hers – Nan Emerson.

Nan, her husband and my grandparents used to winter in Laguna Beach, California, so many of her poems reflect the scenery found down there. I doubt many have heard of her because she was published locally, but I was really surprised to find her book listed on Amazon! A couple of her poems really appealed to me.

The first, INSPIRATION, strikes at the very heart of poetry writing:

There’s a poem somewhere near
And it’s seeking help from me:
It is trying to find words
That will set its spirit free

If I listen with my soul
And my mind keeps very still
I can hear the rhythm start
Like the trickling of a rill.

If I listen with my heart
To the undertones of rhyme
It may swell out into thoughts
And to words that I call mine.

Within the pages of the poetry book, I found a sheet of stationary with her married name and address. On the back was a typewriter-written poem with her name beneath it, dated 1965. The poem is called FRIENDSHIP and made me think of my close friends with whom I have similar feelings:

Sitting alone in a garden
With the quiet hills nearby
And the shimmer of blue Pacific
Reaching out to the edge of the sky,
And the flowers all around me:
Too much beauty to comprehend.
Too much for one soul to garner
And I longed for a dear, dear friend.

A friend who could sit beside me
And share in the garden’s delight,
Or walk with me by the ocean;
Lift with me in the sea bird’s flight.
We would not need to be talking.
Just a glance and a touch of the hand
But she would feel as I would feel
The joy of the sea and the sand.

File:Sunset on the Charles.jpg

She would share with me the pull of the tide.
We’d watch the red sun sinking low
And we would share the rapture
‘Til the last faint afterglow.
For a friend is one who doubles the joy
And halves the sorrow she shares;
Keeps us cherished and safe and warm in her heart
And carries our griefs in her prayers.

I feel fortunate to have many ‘dear, dear’ friends that I can say double the joy and half the sorrow, like the one mentioned in the poem. I’m hope they know how special they are to me.

Do you have friends that make you feel this way? I hope you all have many. 🙂