Thursday, February 4, 2010

7- Romanticism

Nature has always, always been my main inspiration when it comes to poetry. In class our teacher asked if we had ever experienced the sort of divinely inspirational poetry-inducing experience that Wordsworth had obviously felt and alluded to. My answer is Yes. Yes, of course.
The first of these incredibly memorable experiences took place when i was in the 4th grade and my family was vacationing in Switzerland. I had bought a beautiful new blue notebook which i had glued a fantastic postcard of two white tigers onto the front of especially for the occasion. I was dying to write in it, but i wanted it to be good writing, i wanted it to be special. Thankfully i did not have to wait long before i experienced the monumental life-affecting thing i was looking for. Trummelbach Falls is a series of 10 waterfalls which wind in and out of the mountainside. They can be viewed from the inside of the caves they have carved over time, or from the outside. Standing in the mist of one of the falls i felt it. Inspiration took over me, forcefully. And i began to write. I wrote pages, literally, of poetry regarding the waterfall. regarding switzerland, love, my family, the lush countryside. I stood in the dark wet cave, water dampening the pages of my perfect notebook, and i wrote so intensely and deeply that i cried. Eventually my patient and accepting family encouraged me to come out and continue writing in the sunshine as we went on along our touring. I went, but i did not stop. I continued this epic poem non stop for the remainder of our trip.
This would definitely be the first documented experience of nature inspiration that i have had but it is definitely not the first to have taken place. I recall sitting in the middle of our huge rhododendron bush as the sun set one late afternoon and watching everything around me turn golden and sparkling in the light of the setting sun. this also made me cry and i immediately ran into my house to retrieve a pencil and notebook in order to capture the experience. unfortunately when i returned not only had the sun set, but i was unable to accurately express either the beauty or how it made me feel. this threw me into such a deep and startling sadness that i had never before felt. i remember writing instead about how i was not able express the experience. instead i managed to memorize the moment in my mind so it could be drawn upon at an instant later in life. i was 7. the lasting disappointment has always followed me around and is probably why i feel such a strong need to write about things immediately when i feel them


  1. i keep pen and paper next to my bed for this reason. my best ideas happen when i am only in between wakefulness and dreams. you also sound to have had a vibrant childhood - i had many experiences like this, but i didn't discover the importance of the written word until much later than you. but i take comfort in this quote [which is an excerpt from the playwright's production notes] it is from the glass menagerie by Tennessee Williams, he said:

    "The scene is memory and is therefore non-realistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart. The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic."

    I love it.

  2. It's silly, at my age, to feel so, well, protective of certain types of emotions within, but so it is. Before leaving class that day I was scribbling notes in the margins of my papers, but then felt silly trying to convey anything onto an impersonal blog. So, I resorted to a more abstracted form of conveyance: poetry. But, like you, nature has vividly and almost painfully moved my soul for as long as I've had memory. Walking down our rural Maryland wooded lane with air too pure, sweet, and fragrant to put into words, I created songs, drew pictures, collected wild flowers and wished somehow I could open my tiny frame to take it all in--wanting to immerse, lose myself in all the beauty my senses experienced. In the eternal scheme of things, the intensity of emotion connected with natural beauty is quite "natural", considering what a new phenomenon it is to previously purely spiritual beings. Before coming here we'd only speculated about all this--how could we imagine, after all, the delicate poignancy of fresh lilacs, rain, or tomato plant leaves? It has to be experienced. Nature has the ability to link spiritual with physical, validating scriptures which insist that there's no merely temporal thing in the Lord's sight and all things denote His existence in return.

  3. I have a notebook like that as well, and I love it. It started out as somewhat as a problem, because sometimes I would worry that what I wrote wouldn't sound right, and wouldn't be good enough to be in my "special notebook." Now, I recognize that some passages I write are better than others, but I should always pause to write something when I feel inspired by nature or an event etc.

  4. what an experience. I don't know if nature has ever effected me that much. I guess i find my beauty in other things. I love hearing aout this though. Thanks for it.

  5. I know what you mean- though I don't think my experiences hit me quite as hard as they hit you. Looking back, I wished the feelings I had during those moments would stay with me forever. Deep, unforgettable, yet fleeting Awe. Absolute peace. Bubbling excitement--sort of nostalgic, yet new. Inspiration.