Whole Lotta Ideas

Where do ideas come from?  Everywhere. Friends, Family, Nature. Love. Music. History. Write what you love in a way that makes your readers understand why you love it. Make them fall in love with it, too.

This Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love in all its inspirational forms.

‘I should not dare to leave my friend’
--Emily Dickenson (1830 – 1886) Complete Poems. 1924

I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because—because if he should die
While I was gone—and I—too late—
Should reach the Heart that wanted me—

If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted—hunted so—to see—
And could not bear to shut until
They ‘noticed’ me—they noticed me—

Here’s a view of the handwritten manuscript housed at the Houghton Library, the Emily Dickenson Archive.

Listen to David Sylvian sing a haunting version of the poem.

The Soote Season
--Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516-1547)

The soote season, that bud and blome furth bringes,
With grene hath clad the hill and eke the vale:
The nightingale with fethers new she singes:
The turtle to her make hath tolde her tale:
Somer is come, for euery spray nowe springes,
The hart hath hong his olde hed on the pale:
The buck in brake his winter cote he flinges:
The fishes flote with newe repaired scale.

One of the first sonnets written in English, this poem describes the coming of summer and the various ways in which a world previously in a sort of stasis or hibernation is now springing into life. (‘Soote’ in ‘Soote Season’ means ‘sweet’.) For the full poem, see here.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
-- E. E. Cummings  (1894-1962) From Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

Listen to e.e. cummings recite his poem here.

For the musical version,  this video comes from Beauty and the Beast (1987), with the indomitable Ron Perlman reciting the poem to Lisa Angelle's song, The First Time I Loved Forever. 

What is your favorite inspiration?


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