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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Life in verse

I love quotes. Sometimes I feel I'm copping out by selecting a quote rather than writing original verse. I mean, it's easy to take something beautiful and say it applies to your life, but then, are you really inspired by your life if you can't come up with something beautiful yourself?

In the movie "You've Got Mail," Kate wrote, "Sometimes I wonder about my life...So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?" Part of me says, "good point," while another part of me says, "that's true for me, and I don't see anything wrong with that!" I do, however, also see life in books. Does that make me better than Kate, or is she just missing that side of her experience; she really does see life in books, but books are so intertwined with her life that she doesn't notice?

"Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys."
~ Richard Niebuhr, theologian

I think language is all poetry, and I think life is all poetry. All the elements build on each other and play against each other in a sort of dance or song...beauty. Even when the poetry is sad or angry or violent...it all has its place.

Therefore, what is verse but a reflection of life itself? Is it wrong to use someone else's verse to illustrate my life? Am I cheating by utilizing someone else's strengths - skill with written or spoken word - to enhance my strengths or define my weaknesses or simply enhance my experience?

I've been reading Traveling with Pomegranates, a wonderful, true book about a mother's journey and a daughter's journey and how they are intertwined. Both women are writers by nature, and it seems as though the written word is so much a part of their existences that they cannot help but let it seep into everything they think and do. Certainly they write some wonderful words themselves, but so many of their self realizations are brought about by creations of other writers, whole stories or even a small phrase buried in the thick of a poem.

We use songs to define moments in our lives: a relationship, our youth, a bride's dance with her father. We are not expected to write a song to capture each of those moments. In fact, often the association with the song is because the song spoke to us on a personal level or seeped into our subconscious and took root in the memory.

I could circle around this subject for hours. (Who am I kidding? I have.) So I'll just throw it out to the universe and see what comes back. For now, I'll stick to collecting my favorite quotes and drawing inspiration from all that is around me.

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