The Madness of Inspiration

It’s a sentence dropped in passing,

just a side-note to the conversation,

or a jotting blotted in the margin,

only really half a thought.

 

Yet it opens the earth beneath you,

hooks in under your fingernails,

drags you to dimly lit, dusty corners,

both imaginary and real.

 

It doesn’t care that no one wrote it,

or if someone did then they lost it,

or passed it into a safe place

too good given the hindsight.

 

It’s dug a home in the meat of you.

Demanded your eyes, you tongue, your head.

Drew a line between now and then

as translucent as spider silk.

 

Now you only have to find it.

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I’m working on a new poetry collection at the moment which I think I’ll probably name ‘Women, Water, and Witches’. The inspiration for it stems from the folklore surrounding women and water in Shropshire. This has led to me spending evenings researching Sea Witches, Jenny/Ginny Greenteeth, witch trials in Shropshire (there’s almost nothing in any source I’ve checked so far), then ducking stools and scolds, and even a policeman being sentenced to the stocks in 1850 for being drunk and disorderly.

More often than not, what seems like half an idea can lead me down a weird and winding path of research, which spits out even weirder tangents. A bit like a portal. (Ha! See my tentative link to the prompt there!)

The main problem I’ve run into so far is consolidating the history geek side of my brain which wants to fact check every source, to the poet side of my brain who wants to take a few artistic liberties here and there. The compromise so far seems to be that the poet can do what she wants, but the history geek will then get to write a paragraph of two for each poem to explain the background/history/lore. Hopefully this won’t put anyone reading the collection to sleep after the first couple of pages.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little portal inside my brain. Thank you for reading, and happy writing.