What inspires you to write a poem?
by Gillian Clarke
Language, and being alive. Observing things that happen, noticing connections between one thing and another. A feeling of excitement and anticipation can make me more alert to what I see, hear, and think. Reading a wonderful poem by someone else, or beautiful writing in a book of prose, most often non-fiction, a book about stones, say, or genetics, or thoughtful autobiography. Or eavesdropping on passing conversation, listening to people speak. People tell me I have adventures, that things happen when I’m around that don’t happen to other people. One of my favourite writers, Annie Dillard, wrote that when something special happens
‘All a poet can do is be there.’
I love that.