hedge wrote:Where do you get your inspiration, Lloyd? Does it just hit you and you have to write it, or do you sit down and say, 'I'm going to write a poem now' and sort of make it happen deliberately?
Sometimes an image or phrase will emerge from nowhere and I'll jot it down; over time, it serves as a seed crystal for related material. Once I ended up with a 40 line epic of which 8 lines were worth keeping. The exact history is different for each poem, but there are a few common features:
1) The idea for the topic usually follows some external stimulus, e.g. 'In-Flight Failure' followed a season of watching Air Crash Investigation on TV.
2) I almost never just sit down and write finished copy
3) When I get stuck into composing/editing a poem, I can't stop - typically working obsessively at it into the small hours, to the detriment of the following day.
4) Having got a poem to a stage of apparent completeness, I then put it aside for a while until I can re-read it with fresh eyes. That first re-reading is very telling, and usually sparks a whole new cycle of work on the poem. When I can re-read and not find fault, then it's ready to go.
5) I can usually tell which poems are good and which are not so good. I was impressed to find that the poems that won the CSIRO juried competitions were the ones that I felt were my best, as opposed to the ones I thought might prove popular.