Inspiration and the Writer

Another ‘on the run’ post, I am afraid…..

I was just googling around the artwork of Frida Kahlo after seeing a post on Facebook where she was quoted as saying:  “I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

This got me thinking about ‘training’ – as she was self-taught.  I write – and was trained, in a sense, in elementary school where I learned to write and to read – and by my father and mother who created a household of readers, and in my father’s case, an occasional writer.  I began writing at the age of 13 with an essay on the relationship between religion and society – and wrote many essays over the next few years while in High School.  In Latin class in my second last year of High School I discovered the real poetry of Catullus [not the expurgated variety used in class] and at the same time Leonard Cohen and Margaret Atwood [then known as a poet].  I much preferred Cohen to Atwood – I like the raw emotion and sexuality of his poetry versus the word pictures of Atwood – and continue to prefer raw exploding poetry to the descriptive.  I wrote my first and only play – actually a long free verse poem, now that I think of it – for a last year of High School English lit class [High School in Ontario in those days was five years] – and received a super high grade on it…. 

What was my inspiration then?  It was the love of words connected to emotions to make things soar and dive and perform the way words in straight lines never do…… My poems then and my attempts at prose, were surreal and divorced from this world.

What is my inspiration now?  Beatrice. Beatrice is of course, gone…. and was perhaps never here… except where it matters…… Can I still write without Beatrice, is the question? I have tried circumspect, controlled poetry – not bad, but not full and deep. As for the novel… who knows? But I must as I must. Ahhh… Beatrice… if you are interested do some reading on Dante and his Beatrice, or Petrarch and his Laura….


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