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Passions in Poetry

Inspiration -

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Member Rara Avis
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0 posted 09-02-2000 03:00 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Comes in many forms. Who was your literary inspiration / were your literary inspirations?


C.S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia. These were the books which as a kid turned my head toward fantasy. I still remember them to this day. Some might recognize one of the books - THe Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

Llyod Alexander - The Chronicles [sic] of Prydian. These books only amplified my interest in the world of fantasy. Now and then, I'll pick them up, just to see my perspective on them now. Some of you may recognize one of the books - The Black Cauldron.

How about you?
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1 posted 09-02-2000 06:06 AM       View Profile for sonjes   Email sonjes   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sonjes

Whoa! There are way too many to list! I  have always been an avid reader and most writers have touched me in some shape or form. To name a few:
  Emily Dickinson: I discovered her at twelve and thought "this is the life for me." Hehe. No, I am not a recluse but the idea is so romantic.
  Robert O'Brien: Z for Zachariah still gives me chills when I read it.
  Lloyd Alexander: Not to be a copycat, but I devoured the chronicles when I was little and I still read them as well. I have them neatly tucked into one anthology.  
  I know there's LOTS more...but noone wants a novel on who MY literary inspiration is/was.  
  NEXT!!!!  (Good Topic, Chris)
Member Rara Avis
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2 posted 09-02-2000 09:13 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

This is a little troubling, but I actually don't remember a time when writing wasn't a big part of my life. I honestly believe I started thinking of myself as "a writer" before I discovered real literature. The first "story" I wrote was about Dick and Jane, and that perennial favorite, Spot.

The first real novel I recall reading was Peter Pan, by Sir J.M. Barrie. I was still at that age when the entire universe revolves around self, and I was stunned to discover that something "not real" could evoke such powerful emotions. I cried at the ending, and for the first time in my young life the tears weren't for myself. Someone had actually made me care about other people, people I had met only in the pages of a book.

Strangely, the Nancy Drew series came next, probably just because they were easily available, followed quickly by O Henry, Mark Twain, and Edgar Rice Bourroughs. Later, I discovered Heinlien, Asimov, Andre Norton, and a score of science fiction authors writing for the younger market. I don't know if any of those influenced my writing, but they certainly sparked a lifelong love of science. By the time I reached my teens, I was reading just about anything and everything I could find, from Orwell to Vonnegut to Bradbury to Harold Robbins. I even read at least a dozen of Danielle Steele's early novels. Go figure. Incidentally, the first poet I read was Poe and I can still feel the influence his style had on my own, at least in my metered verse.

Today, while there are many writers I enjoy, two in particular impress me and for much the same reasons. Guy Gavriel Kay has only a handful of novels under his belt, all in the fantasy genre. Dean Koontz, on the other hand, has a score or two of published novels, though not all are of equal caliber. Indeed, I started reading Koontz many years ago, mostly because he lived a mile or two from me and all his stories were set in our Laguna neighborhood. It was kind of cool, but I wasn't all that impressed. Just a year or two ago, however, I picked up one of his books, discovered how much he had grown, and eventually read all of his more recent work. These two authors, in my estimation, combine the best of prose and poetry. They don't just tell a good story (a skill I think is quite different from writing, by the way), but do so with beauty and a care for words. You'll find metaphors and even meter masked as paragraphs and scenes, quite unlike most modern writers, and when you close the covers you'll reverently put the book on a shelf for safe-keeping - knowing you will return to it again and again.

Ah, the wonderful memories. Makes me want to go write something!  

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3 posted 09-02-2000 10:36 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Very interesting topic, Chris. Though I've read constantly since a child, hence the heavy glasses, I only started writing relatively late in life, taking my current age into consideration. Writing started when I was 18, in my first semester of college, and it was mostly cathartic. Then, I found a book that changed the way I write: A Nonsense Anthology, filled with poems and silly things by Burns, Carrol, Nash, Yeats, and others. Then, I re-read some of my favs from my childhood years, namely Tolkien and Thurber (The Wonderful O still gives me goosebumps). Later, three authors in particular influenced my writing: Dostoevsky, Lawhead (Song of Albion and the Pendragon Trilogy), and my all time fav, Terry Pratchett (The Discworld series).
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4 posted 09-02-2000 10:44 AM       View Profile for Marina   Email Marina   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marina

I actaully have several, but for the most part I would say......

William Butler Yeats and the Bronte sisters, particularily Emily Bronte.


It is a blessing to have wings for words, and passion in pen
Marina Crossley

Jeffrey Carter
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5 posted 09-02-2000 10:45 AM       View Profile for Jeffrey Carter   Email Jeffrey Carter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jeffrey Carter

Well to be honest I started out trying to write song lyrics so most of my influences were songwriters. One in particular that caught my ear was Hank Williams Sr. I just love the way he used those small words to say such big things.

Now if you want to know my favorite author that one is easy Stephen King of course
Poet deVine
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6 posted 09-02-2000 12:09 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

When I was 10, I wrote my autobiography in school and got and A. That made me think I could write! I read the 'Nancy Drew' series and the 'Bobbsey Twin' series as a child and became fascinated with the written word. I would read 2 or 3 books a day. In the summer, we were restricted on how much TV we could watch so we hit the library and used bookstores all the time. (I've never lived in a house that didn't have at least ONE overflowing bookshelf.)

When I was a freshman in high school I began to read 'grownup' books. "Ethan Frome" by Edith Wharton and "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton stand out as my favorites then. I was introduced to Shakespeare as a sophomore and read most of his plays one summer!

I think everything I read then influenced me. I could escape to worlds that I would never see, whether they were far away places or far away times.

Now, I read mostly Stephen King, Dean Koontz ("Strangers" is my favorite!) and James Patterson. I don't really care for Danielle Steele or that genre. Until her death, Catherine Cookson provided me with a yearly treat! I love her down to earth books about life in Northern England.

I started out as a writer of fiction not poetry, so poets (except for Shakespeare) didn't figure into my early reading life.

Great question...and I too want to write now! Later!  
Janet Marie
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7 posted 09-02-2000 01:49 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

Yes, cool question, I love reading everyone's early draw to writing....
Like Jeff-gator--Music was also always my inspiration, though I never really tried writing songs. As I teen I starting writing to vent emotions that I could not voice out loud.
My musical influences were Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Dan Fogelberg.(too many to list)
Jackson's lyrics amazed and awed me...the way he could just bleed his emotions
of sorrow with such gut wrenching honesty.
In high school I discovered poets Rod McKuen and Rudy Kipling...EA Poe and
of course Shakespears amazing sonnets.
AHHH So much little time...
serenity blaze
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8 posted 09-02-2000 02:33 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

This is hard...but anything to do with memory is for me...but, I don't even remember starting to read...the joke in my family is that I was born reading...truly, began reading spontaneously (if that is possible at age 3 1/2....) so I guess we would have to start with Dr. Seuss....after that I read the entire Little House on The Prairie series in the 1st grade.  But before I bore you (too late?)
favorite all time novel?  To Kill A Mockingbird....but I am also a big fan of John Irving, Joseph Conroy, and a toss up for favorite novel would be "Sophie's Choice"
and of course, love Joe Heller...lately tho, have been enthralled with Joseph Campbell, and the Bible as well as the Apocrypha as well as the Pseudopegraphia, and the Q'ran...
and there is a new author who also fascinates me...I think his name, yeah...Christopher Ward...keep your eye on that'll see him on Oprah, some day soon...*winks*
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9 posted 09-02-2000 03:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I grew up with the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys series. In my early adult years it was James Michener and Alister McLean plus everything that Ellery Queen ever wrote. Mickey Spillane showed me how to write but it was Ayn Rand who gave me a picture of what the complete writer really is....I consider her the greatest who ever lived..
Kit McCallum
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10 posted 09-02-2000 07:58 PM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

I was lucky to be the third child born, which meant reams of books lined the shelves my sister and brother outgrew.  Dr. Suess, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys (looks like a lot of us grew up reading them - I even watched the TV series, lol). Beatrix Potter was my favorite though, with stories like Roly Poly Pudding, and the Tales of Old Tom Kitten.

For paperbacks, I enjoy Stephen King and John Saul, though my favorite novel by far was by Robert R. McCammon entitled "Swan Song" ... an unbelievable apocolyptic thriller with characters that I've still not forgotten.  Think I'll dig that one up again!
Poet deVine
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11 posted 09-02-2000 08:06 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Kit! I'm a Robert McCammon fan too! I loved "Mine" of the best novels written with a female heroine! "Swan Song" was was "Goin' South"!  
Kit McCallum
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12 posted 09-02-2000 09:25 PM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Sharon! No way! I still remember being so deep into Swan Song my first read years ago, that when I looked out my apartment window, I expected to see "their world".  That 1000 pager made the rounds of my entire family and friends ... it's taped together at the bindings now. Everyone enjoyed it, even though they didn't "think" it would be their style! It was an amazing read! Glad to hear you're a fan too!  
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13 posted 09-02-2000 11:50 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

Aesop and Dr. Suess, which led to Homer, Virgil, Dante and Dr.


Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito. - Virgil.
"Yield thou not to adversity, but press on the more bravely".

Dusk Treader
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14 posted 09-03-2000 12:29 AM       View Profile for Dusk Treader   Email Dusk Treader   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dusk Treader

J.R.R. Tolkien, without a doubt. There is no other world like Arda E. The land of Valinor and Middle Earth will live forever in my mind, let me tell you. Manw and the Valar, and Morgoth.. The Maiar, Eldar, Edain, Dwarves and dragons... and the balrogs! LOL, I've read The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion a half dozen times each... I adore them! hehe.. I read it for the first time in 2nd grade and thought I'd hate it.. now I adore fantasy...

Abrahm Simons

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15 posted 09-03-2000 03:15 AM       View Profile for Trew   Email Trew   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trew

Tolkien, for his ability to create worlds like no other.
Robert Frost, for his ability to paint a picture in my mind.
Joseph Conrad, for his ability to show man's struggles in a different light.
Stephen King, for his ability to scare the crap out of me.

And for the record, Swan Song is perhaps one of the only novels that I would put in 'Epic' status with "The Stand".  Incredible writing.

[This message has been edited by Trew (edited 09-03-2000).]
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16 posted 09-03-2000 10:02 AM       View Profile for rosepetals25   Email rosepetals25   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rosepetals25

Hmmmm.. I don't know if one certain author had a profound effect on me.  I love Stephen King.. Wally Lamb.. Danielle Steel..

I also love music.. My father brainwashed me early in life to LOVE the Beatles.. their songs are so wonderfully written..

I guess it is just what surrounds me at the time.. who I am reading or what I am listening to.
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17 posted 09-03-2000 02:30 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Where to begin...

Laura Ingalls Wilder- My childhood favorite. Her and her sisters were my only playmates (I lived my first 10 years as a hermit). This was the woman who first inspired me to write at the age of 5. I figured: "Hey, if she can write all of this while she building a little house on the prairie, I can do it, considering I have electricity!"

Betty Smith- A pre-teen favorite. I LOVE "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". I always admired her simple writing style. It helped my 11-year old mind concentrate on the story, not the advanced vocabulary.

Margret Mitchell- She was a braver lady that I could ever be. She gave her un-organized novel to a publisher right before he left town. (It didn't even have a first chapter!) The result, "Gone With the Wind"

Pearl S. Buck- She's always been a point of inspiration for me, since she's the only person that was born in WV to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. "The Good Earth" is one of my favorites.

Shakespeare- What is there to say? He is just the best.

Edgar Allen Poe- He's probably my favorite poet. He managed to write beautiful poetry about the darkest subjects. "Annebel Lee" is my favorite poem of all time. He lived such a painful life, but he eased the pain of others through his writing. This is the best kind of art.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -Oscar Wilde
"The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief" -Shakespea

[This message has been edited by LoveBug (edited 09-03-2000).]
brian madden
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18 posted 09-03-2000 08:20 PM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

I am wondering if song lyrics count, if that is the case then

Ian Curtis
Richey Edwards,

but if not then my other influences are

Thomas Kinsella
Dlyan Thomas
Patrick Kavanagh
Sylvia Plath
Octave Mirbeau's The torture Garden
George Orwell's 1984
Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho
William Burroughs
THe holy bible by God and the Apostles.

though they could just be a list of my favourite authours, I don't know if many of them reflect in my work. I guess I am inspired by a variety of sources, too many to list, life in general, though I can relate to and am fascinated by the themes discussed my favourite books which is usually about the dark side of humanity.
I also mention the bible as catholic guilt is a big inspiration at times for me, and also William Burroughs because I tend to write in a semi cut and paste style, I feel kind of that I am cheating mention Burrough's because I vowed to re-read Naked lunch and understand what he was talking about but I barely made it through one sitting, I abandoned it half way through my second sitting.

Sit down and bargain
"Until your tongues are dry If the havoc and the shame continue We'll drown you in our putrefaction" Primo Levi

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19 posted 09-03-2000 09:54 PM       View Profile for Sven   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sven

I would have to say that for me, I've read everything and anything that I could get my hands on. . .

When I was younger, it was Dr. Seuss, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift (a boy genius who went on fantastic scientific voyages), Maurice Sendak, and too many others to mention.

In high school, I discovered Shakespeare, ee cummings, Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, the plays of Edward Albee, Paul Zindel, Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, TS Eliot, and James Joyce, just to mention a few.  

I actually read Finnegan's Wake over the course of a summer, checking and re-checking it out of my local library because it took me that long to read it!!  I was astounded by what he was trying to accomplish with it. . . and then I read many books by the best Joyce scholars as to what they thought about it.  They helped, but sometimes, I drew my own conclusions. . . an excellent book.

Two more authors that have had an effect on me are Madeline L'Engle and Terry Goodkind.  If you've never read L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" series. . . you must.  These 4 books are just amazing in their structure and their story telling.  

And I know that a lot of people here know the name of Goodkind.  His "Sword of Truth" series is among the best that I have ever read.  The story is wonderful, the characters are excellently developed, and I just plain love them!!  (Btw, the latest in the series, "Faith of the Fallen" is out right now!!!)



That which gives light must endure burning
--Victor Frankl

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20 posted 09-04-2000 02:01 PM       View Profile for Poertree   Email Poertree   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poertree

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21 posted 09-04-2000 03:24 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Like PdV, poetry did not figure into my life until recently

Let's start at the top from the first authors I read (I read what was available, usually from my oldest brother...)

Bradbury, Asimov, King, Tolkien...

Now I am fond of Terry Brooks, Brian Lumely, James Hebert, Text Books...

Oh yes, I just finished reading all four of the Harry Potter books, had to see what all the fuss was about and couldn't put them down (4 books in 5 days)  Now I am anxiously waiting for number five!

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.

"Everything is your own damn fault, if you are any good." E. Hemmingway
Member Rara Avis
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22 posted 09-04-2000 10:25 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Sylvia Plath.

Her determination was astounding.

Robin Hobb.

Her characters breathe I swear it. They are so much more alive than so many others...and I have read A LOT...

My Mother...her writing is exquisite - and so very rare.


"He looked across the
silky surface of the Severn...
it was a famously difficult
river with fierce tides..."

From Jack Maggs
serenity blaze
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23 posted 09-05-2000 02:14 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Oh...and I forgot...specifically to name Pat Conroy, and mucisally/lyrically/poetically...

Everything by Bob Dylan....Simon and Garfunkel...April, Come She May,-- Bridge Over Troubled Waters,--Bookends--Old Friends--and the incomparable Joni Mitchell...and so many others that I have already deleted the "Money" program from my pc to add more music---hee hee...."Money?  What Money?  Watch this!  Delete.  Budget Balanced."

And of course me humble nod to the Beatles and the Stones, and Brian Wilson...and...somebody kick the jukebox!  It do go on and on...all children of Orpheus...and now I am off to mp3 heaven...
Sudhir Iyer
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24 posted 09-05-2000 04:15 AM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

Well, I wouldn't say these were the influences or inpsirations... but they were great reading material and I always enjoyed them...

The earliest books I read were Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys/Famous Five/... and got tired of them very soon, though I loved some characters. I had tried my hand at Archie and other comics, but they did not appeal (except maybe Jughead) at all, till I discovered Asterix series and Tintin series... gosh that was fun... and so was reading a lot of other comic strips like Phantom, Mandrake etc... they were not supposed to make sense but give a lot of thrills and fun, which they did... most lasting impressions were created then ...

Later on, I read a Tale of two cities, the complete book when I was about 13, and that changed the whole perspective. I did not understand many things but tears swelled and a certain feeling of pride for the sacrifice swelled up... That was the first major impressional work, I read. Then on it was just reading all of Dickens stuff again adn again...

Then I read Shakespeare whose language had me in crutches... Reading, rereading many times over, I appreciated what he wanted to say so beautifully...

I also read a lot of Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, HW Longfellow, Blake, Mark Twain, and so on... Each of them left me with a WOW, asking myself how they did that. The awe prevented me from writing poetry, but I managed to write short stories and essays, mostly fiction or narrations like a day at scouting camp etc...

Then I read Rabindranath Tagore and I would recommend each of you to read at least 10/15 of his poems to understand when I say that he moves the reader tremendously... get a book with a selection of Tagore's works, and you will enjoy the read, I am sure...

Among the fiction writers of the recent years, I have read a few from Clancy to Sheldon to Robbins, from Asimov to Penrose to Hawking and so on... they are all good in their own areas...

and I left out the sarcastic writers from Britain out of this...


P.S. I should make a mention that the most impression formed on me in recent years were from song lyrics of rock bands, particularly Pink Floyd... and more definitely so from reading all the wonderful stuff that I read here at Passions... you all are some of my true influences... you are all gifted artists...  
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