A few weeks ago, I caught my twelve-year-old out of bed near midnight. She was sitting in the hallway. "What are you doing?" I asked.
"I was sleeping and I had an idea for a poem I'm working on," she said. "It's dark in my room, so I came out in the hallway to write it down."
"Carry on," I said, "but then straight to bed." In the morning, we talked about how many writers keep a notebook at their bedsides for just this reason. The dream or semi-wakeful state is a time when ideas we have been grasping at during the conscious day come floating into our minds.
Today, Maryland poet Allan Roy Andrews shares a poem about the compelling lines of verse that come to us in dreams. Scroll to the bottom for a related prompt.
by Allan Roy Andrews
I seek the diction for my poem
and lonely as a cloud I roam
the pages of anthologies;
but finding there no words to please,
I gentle go to that good night
and in my dancing dream I write
a poem as clear as ear has heard
then wake--and can’t recall a word.
Posted with permission.
Your Tuesday Prompt:
In "Dream Muse," Allan Roy Andrews incorporates phrases from famous poems (Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" and Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night") into an original poem.
Choose two well-known poems that you admire. From each, select a line or phrase. Do some free-writing, incorporating the two phrases. Don't edit. Invite whatever floats into your mind onto the page.
If you want to take this practice a step further, read the two famous poems before you go to bed. Be sure to leave a notebook or paper and pen at your bedside. If an idea or a line bubbles up in the night, or as you are waking, write it down.
Tomorrow's guest poet is Justine Rowden. See you then!