Thursday, 14 February 2013

One for Valentine's Day... Inspiration from a Love Letter

I was clearing out some clart from around, above, below, behind and on my desk, when I found this note, well, it was a letter actually. Dated August 1978, it was from the one and only true love of my life. It had an extraordinary, but perhaps not unexpected effect on me.

You know what it's like when you turn out old memorabilia, whether they are letters, books, pictures or artifacts, something happens in the brain that brings back images, memories, feelings and emotions that you'd forgotten in the heat of present life. And so it was with this letter, but, whilst it induced immediate feelings inside me, as I re-read it, it wasn't until I lay in bed that night that I realised, being the eve of St Valentine's Day, I hadn't prepared anything for the day. And then it struck me, but, unlike many of my poems, the inspiration did not arrive from a line or two of verse that so often provides the spark, the trigger to the rest of the poem. This time it presented itself to me as a story, an almost revelatory story, which just unfolded in front of, or rather behind my eyes, as I lay in bed, ready for sleep.

I fell asleep before I'd got very far, but, somewhat earlier than I'd normally prefer, it woke me up again, and the rest of the poem came forth.

The moral of this tale is that letters, particularly old ones, are probably a powerful source of inspiration for poetry and story telling

I hope you enjoy reading "And I Love Her Still" as much as I enjoyed writing it.