Auld Lang Syne

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sleep Your Way to New Poems

It's a funny thing about taking naps and dreaming... one can get ideas for poems. I know many poets who find inspiration in their dreams for poems they get up and write later (or at least they get up and make notes for writing poems later). This happens to me occasionally.

I admit I have a really vivid dream life. I've often wondered if this is a gift of gratitude by the "gods of night" for honoring the fine art of sleeping. Ha, ha! I do love a good long nap, that is for sure. I do not really take those little power naps others seem so adept at taking. When I go down for a nap it is for two hours at a minimum. I wake up groggy if the nap is too short. Faced with the comment about "wasting the day" or "how many years of your life have you slept?" I am quick to say that I am working while sleeping. True. The "stuff of my dreams" is poetry. No, I do not dream poems. But what I do dream is material or ideas, narrative impulses, characters, settings. I dream in color, in detail. I REMEMBER my dreams. I incorporate the material from my dreams into poems. How lucky I am to have this gift of dreaming.

So try keeping a journal next to your bed to record the last dream you have just prior to waking. I don't do this myself as I am so used to the process that I don't need to write anything down to jog my recall. But if you are NEW at mining dream life for poetry, go ahead with the dream notebook. And yes, we ALL dream. Maybe you have to train yourself to recall your dreams, but they are there. So, if you keep a journal of dreams, you might begin to notice a trend of topic, setting, etc. This is very helpful when you sit down to write and think you have nothing about which to write. There, right next to your bed is your material!

Well, time for my nap. See you tomorrow.

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