You MIGHT ask that question from time to time: where do poets and authors get the ideas/inspiration for their work? And every poet or student of poetry will tell you that just about any situation, emotion, or circumstance might wake the Muse and make her tell you to SIDDOWN, SHADDUP, and put pen to paper. The “places” from which poems come from are almost as numerous as the number of poems out there (I say almost because every teenage angst poem pretty much comes from the same place).
I thought it’d be interesting to share with you the etiology of one of my poems. It’s called ‘Create Me Again’, and here’s where it came from:
Strangely, I came up with the title first. You see, I used to pass time when I was bored in class coming up with what I thought were cool titles for songs that didn’t exist. I never wrote an actual song, but I organized the track listings for a whole lotta albums released by imaginary bands. You laugh. Whatever.
Anyway, several of those titles to songs which didn’t exist actually resonated with me; they were bits of poetry in and of themselves - wordplays that, were they expanded on successfully, might have meant something. ‘Create Me Again’ was one such title. Think about it: it has a fairly resonating implication to it, doesn’t it?
Then, sometime in the early to mid nineties, I had a crisis of faith - I didn’t so much begin to wonder if God existed (I don’t think THAT happened until I was in my 30s) as I began to wonder if God had died or gone on vacation or written us off as unsalvageable and gone off to reinvent Moses as a four-armed blue-skinned alien on some faraway planet in a different galaxy. So, with that I had the theme of a poem which I wanted to write. All I needed was something to solidly tie it all together and give me the solid ground I needed to build from.
And then, somewhere in there, I recalled the story in the book of Daniel about Nebudchadnezzar’s dream of the statue made of precious metals but with feet of clay.
Everything clicked, and I had a poem. One day I wrote the whole thing in a single sitting, and several years later the Snake Nation Review published it. At the center of it is that multi-metaled statue, standing as a symbol of… what? Me? The nation? The planet?
However you want to apply it, you can. That’s what poetry’s for, if you ask me.
Finally, here’s the poem in question. Thanks for reading:
Create Me Again
The little multi-metalled statue
With baby soft clay feet
Stood on his tiny pedestal
“Create me again
In the likeness of another image
For if what I am is what you are
Then one of us is falling short
Of every expectation.”
A tear ran down his golden cheek
Along his silver belly
Splashed erosively in a hole
That was forming in the clay.
(Image from http://blackinkdesigns.com/diagrams.htm)
And… BTW, the crisis of faith is over. (God exists. Neener neener.)