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Friday, December 18, 2015

Seasons of Poetry

Have you ever gone on a binge of writing poems then suddenly nothing? That ebb and flow of creativity mimics nature with its change of seasons or fluctuations of energy throughout the day in irregular intervals of work, play, and rest.

Like nature, too much work with too little rest or play throws off the flow. It’s like getting caught up in a flood of inventiveness, then having a long, dry spell. For a while, poetic thoughts stem from inspiration, flower with a sense of play, then wither into the work and worries of everyday life.

If that’s happened to you, I hope it helps to recognize this as part of a poet’s “norm.” Also, these dry times aren’t as unproductive as they might seem. They’re probably just parched and in need of rehydration.

For example, when poems don’t come to you as readily as you’d like, your creative self might need to find more options as you:

• Read poetry by other poets such as those reviewed in numerous posts on this site.

• Study and experiment with a variety of poetry forms and techniques as discussed in my e-book.

• Give your previously written poems additional thought and readings before you edit or revise.

• Practice your skills of observation by noting whatever your senses of touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound provide.

For instance, I’m writing this in the middle of an insomniacal night as dripping rain produces different sounds and rhythms, depending on the pitch of the roof and the density of the plants catching the life-giving water. I can attune my sense of hearing to each of those unique sounds or to the musicality they provide when heard together.

If I choose the former, I can describe the finger-drumming of the raindrops and their soft plunking sounds and varied tempo. Or, I can listen to the overall sound effect and find myself soothed, lulled, and, thankfully, ready to rest again.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2015, poet-author of 27 books in all genres


  1. As a song writer, this is also a "norm". There are seasons of great productivity followed by seasons of rest. It seems some things need to steep for a while before they are ready to be written.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Oops, I posted your helpful comment twice, Nancy, so just deleted the second one. :)

  3. Very nice read Mary. Food tps to aspire to. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Yes! Thank you, Nancy. And now I'm wondering if that's also true for visual artists. I suspect so.