Creativity, poetry, poets, Self Identity

What Stimulates Your Creativity?

This morning We Wanted to Be Writers newsletter popped up first on my reading list. My eyes landed on a headline highlighting a poetry collection by Clare Martin.

For me, few morning rituals are better than a great cup of coffee while perusing a thought provoking poem or article.

Ten poems filled the page.  I ended up reading all of the poems twice, some four times. 

Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America, says (her poetry is) “dark and lovely and full of a deep organic pulse. Like the landscape of her beloved Louisiana, her work is alive with mystery. You could swim in this hot water, but there are things down inside its darkness that might pull you away forever. It is an exquisite drowning.”

I couldn’t get two of her poems out of my head. Images swirled until I observed the scenes in the poem unfold.

Woman sitting on the edge of the
Woman sitting on the edge of the


She walks into the sea, out of the sea, into the sea, swinging her arms. Casting the net, her hanging breasts are like soundless bells. She crouches on an outcropping of rocks holding the line. If the nets are empty, her children will feed on night—fill their mouths with clouds, devour stars. She shovels star lit pebbles with a bare foot. She faces the moon, pulling hard. She pulls to her chest, pulls with her back, her thighs, and the muscles of her neck. Her face stiffens with anger. She breathes and desperation breaks. The haul is large, glittering. Spiked fins slap her calves. She bleeds—

Children gather for the slaughter.

First published in Lily Literary Review

Male purple
Male purple


We marry into grief
and the poems pile

up against our ribs.
Secrets hold to us

and we hold to them.
We are bound to endings

as the culmination
of light binds us.

Darkness: a berry,
blood on the tongue—

It has been a long time
since we have written poetry.

Why do we wait?
Fault-lines split the earth.

The ink of the crow
marks the cloud—

Shall we not muse
upon its bantering wings?

Clare Martin’s debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, was published fall 2012 by Press 53 as a Tom Lombardo Selection. These poems are from the collection. 

Several things can help stimulate creativity: walks in nature, a bubble bath, music, looking at a photo, or just being quiet. So what gets your creative side glowing?

7 thoughts on “What Stimulates Your Creativity?”

  1. Yes, deep and lovely like Neruda. I am moved by this poetry. I strive always to dive deeply to retrieve a thread of my passion. I recently read The Awakening (again) by Kate Chopin. She is also a fearless sea creature! Her female character’s connection to the ocean is trance-like…” the foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet, and coiled like serpents about her ankles”…


      1. Yes, the novella by Chopin was a banned book in 1899…it was so disturbing to critics it was banished for decades! It is an early vision of women’s emancipation…a woman who gives her female protagonist the central role, normally reserved for men. It is a meditation on identity, culture, and art.


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