Creative writing inspiration: Well like an iceberg


Creative writing inspiration: Well like an iceberg

Creative writing inspiration: Well like an iceberg

Find more inspiration on my Pinterest board

Creative writing inspiration: Northern Lights from space


Aurora NASA

Northern Lights artist impression


Creative writing inspiration: City scape



Creative writing prompt: invisibility


Creative writing prompt: invisibility

Poetry Friday: Love after Love


I first came across this poem in an anthology – it is on an English GCSE specification, though I’ve never read or studied it – when I was looking for something for a lesson, I’ve forgotten what. It resonated with me immediately, because there’s something so powerful about the sentiment of having loved and lost, and coming to the realisation that in fact the most important thing is to be happy and comfortable with yourself.

Although in some ways I think I’m probably the same as when I was very little, in many, many ways I am completely different. Every time I realise that there is a time of reflection and looking at myself, accepting who I am and how I have become this way. Whatever has prompted the recognition, which cane sometimes be as powerful as the loss of a loved one or as simple as realising you’ve just done something without thinking about it that only a short time ago would have been imaginable, there’s the bittersweet feeling of thinking that you’ve changed so much, and getting to know the person you have become without realising it.

I love the lines “You will love again the stranger who was your self./Give wine. Give bread.Give back your heart/to itself, to the stranger who has loved you” for this reason – I think it signifies the idea that you should always take the time to genuinely know yourself and celebrate who you had.

Love After Love
Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Poetry Friday: The Hug


I thought it’d be nice to introduce some more regular posting, and to take the opportunity to share some things I find inspirational or interesting here.  I love poetry; I read quite a bit of it, mostly for work but am trying to read some more modern work as well, and there’s something truly stunning about the way poets manage to use language in such a concise and glorious way.

The Hug

It was your birthday, we had drunk and dined
Half of the night with our old friend
Who’d showed us in the end
To a bed I reached in one drunk stride.
Already I lay snug,
And drowsy with the wine dozed on one side.

I dozed, I slept. My sleep broke on a hug,
Suddenly, from behind,
In which the full lengths of our bodies pressed:
Your instep to my heel,
My shoulder-blades against your chest.
It was not sex, but I could feel
The whole strength of your body set,
Or braced, to mine,
And locking me to you
As if we were still twenty-two
When our grand passion had not yet
Become familial.
My quick sleep had deleted all
Of intervening time and place.
I only knew
The stay of your secure firm dry embrace.
Thomas Gunn

What I love about this poem is the quiet intimacy that Gunn’s created; this is a long-established relationship, one that was as passionate as you would hope for but has developed far, far beyond that into something everlasting, comforting and familiar, yet still incredibly loving.
This sleepy tone is set in part by the rhythm – “of intervening time and place” is a great example, where the rhythm is undeniable, but is itself slow and sleepy. The simplicity of the language too is beautiful, no need for overblown images or grand metaphor (both have their place, elsewhere) but a very simple view of this relationship.
In sleep, the lovers reach for one another but there’s no sensation of disorientation, simply that they feel, in that moment when one is woken briefly by the other, that they are just as they were when they were 22 and just starting to be in love.