Sunday, July 25, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 162 - Letters and Lists


While sitting upstairs at Mom's table eating lunch during my week off from my day job, I often fed my inner muse by reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I'm looking after her bird Coco while she's on her own month-long vacation in Michigan, and he needs social time with Brad and me without Mom there. So I have all my meals upstairs and hang out with Coco, read the paper, catch up on a bit of TV, or browse through Mom's gardening magazines or creative books like The Artist's Way.

This piece about a woman discovering her voice really resonated with me. It refers to a technique Ms. Cameron uses in all her workshops called morning pages.

This is a form of wake-up exercises for the writing brain, like athletic stretches or musical scales. Ms. Cameron has found that creating a habit of non-judgmental free writing every morning deactivates the inner critic inside all of us, and releases the real creativity chomping at the bit behind him or her.

I haven't tried these morning pages myself, but I have to say my experiences with my blog have acted in a similar role for me. There was a time I never could have come up with new poetry once a week, or new scenes like clockwork for my Weekend Writer's Retreat. But the habit of daily writing for my blog has cleared my perfectionist tendencies somewhat.

Not entirely! LOL! Getting there.

Here is the found poem I crafted from The Artist's Way:


















Letters and Lists


Phyllis

Leggy racehorse socialite

Hid her brains for years
Behind her beauty
Hid her life for years
Behind her man's

With a great deal of surface cheer
Phyllis tried the morning pages
Leggy socialite's inner conviction
They would never work for her

It had been ten years
Of social letters
Bread-and-butter lists
Ten years since she had allowed herself to write

Phyllis hid
Phyllis allowed no pages
Beauty Phyllis
Racehorse Phyllis

Pages would never work for her
Never bread-and-butter
Never her man's Phyllis
Socialite hid brains

Surface cheer
Racing beauty
Leggy Phyllis
Conviction, ten years

A month into morning pages
Seemingly out of nowhere
Phyllis got her first
Poem

In three years
Phyllis has written
Phyllis' surface allows brains
Phyllis' bread-and-butter is writing

Speeches
Radio shows
A nonfiction book
And poems

Phyllis racehorse
Phyllis beauty
Phyllis brainy
Her man's Phyllis

Phyllis' writing
Works for her

- Julia Cameron, 1992

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Minnesota Mamaleh says Your words? Resonate. Your tips? Hit the spot. And your poem? Divine.

Shelley Munro says You're good at this poetry stuff. A lot of writers I know swear by Julia Cameron's book.

Riia Infinity says Beautiful and lovely poem^^

9 comments:

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

your words? resonate. your tips? hit the spot. and your poem? divine. thanks for a great read!

Naquillity said...

great poem, loved it. hope all is well.

Shelley Munro said...

You're good at this poetry stuff. A lot of writers I know swear by Julia Cameron's book.

riikainfinityy.com said...

Beautiful and lovely poem^^~ Thank for sharing =D~

Jennie Marsland said...

Beautiful, Julia! IT's amazing how creativity reflects on others, isn't it?

Janet said...

I loved that, Julia - well done :)

I'm trying to find time to read Cameron's follow-up book "Walking in This World" - she still talks 'morning pages' and, like you, I've decided my blog is my morning page!

And it certainly does free you up from that perfectionist and self-doubt place!

Akelamalu said...

Ah lovely poem Julia. :)

Jingle said...

magical,
lovely images!

Travis Cody said...

I really like that!