April 12, 2016

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

30 Habits of Highly Effective Poets #3: Allan Roy Andrews on Dreaming

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.

Dream Muse
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!


Jeannine Atkins said...

I like a poem with borrowings and dreams. But that "carry on" to the daughter in the night" -- love it!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Jeannine. I agree -- it's a great prompt. It's a risk to borrow from a famous poem, but Allan handles incorporating those lines into his original piece so beautifully.

My 'tween is a creative soul. TBD if she will focus on writing or music or whatever. I love watching her explore.

Lisa Vihos said...

Laura, I love Allan's poem and I cannot wait to try this prompt. How cool to have a daughter sitting up in the hallway in the middle of the night, writing a poem. Carry on, indeed.

Author Amok said...

I love how the final line draws the whole poem together. We've all been there.

jama said...

Chiming in on loving the "Carry on."

Enjoyed Allan's poem, especially the "dancing dream." :)