Thursday, October 4, 2012

Poetry Writing Prompt #4: When Rules and Inspiration Meet

When rules and inspiration meet, I find freedom.
I take root.
Noah Lukeman wrote a book called The First Five Pages. It is about the structure or form
of the first five pages of a book so that the said book will sell.

It is about writing with a precision and a strategy. It is about writing following very tightly bound rules.
Imagine my surprise to readhis words, when he said:
"Most of the truly great artists have broken all the rules, and this is precisely what has made them great. What would have become of Beethoven's music if he'd chased rules instead of inspiration? Of van  Gogh's painting?"
Lukeman continues:
"It is always through the unexpected, the unorthodox that artists break through to higher levels of performance."
I don't see rules and inspiration as an either/or situation.
I choose to see them as dear friends. Respectful of one another, deeply aware of the value each one offers to artists, writers and other creative people.
My skin, moist, soft creative lines of love and thought leave traces of all that has been and all that is yet to become because of and through me.

Poetry Writing Prompt: For those of you who don’t know, one of my creative endeavors is Directing in Bakersfield Theater productions. I love when we get to the stage in the process when the actors have gotten their roles down, I’ve given them plenty of direction and I choose a night at rehearsal to simply give them this instruction:

Surprise me!

Consider those moments you have said, “This is just the way I write poetry” and write differently. Close your eyes and think about the place where rules and inspiration meet. This is where I find surprise likes to pop out. 

Word Prompts: Inspiration and/or Rules and/or Inspiration

Sentence: Where rules and inspiration meet…..
 Examples of Poets Who Were Inspired by Rules and No Rules

Diane DePrima

Emily Dickinson - (and some video makers rule breaking, too!)


Thank you for sharing and recommending to others before you leave.

~Julie Jordan Scott 


  1. Before OctPoWriMo I mostly focused on women for inspiration. Because I know female poets are a passion of yours I have decided to create balance by bringing in the male poets. Very unlike me.

    Wonderful prompt, can't wait until morning to begin writing.

    1. Hey! I didn't know you were still around. I need linky help!

    2. and you know, I am also a fan of balance. I just want women poets to get some recognition which is LONG overdue!! Seriously, how many women writer/poets are not included STILL in high school and college texts?! I could rant all night.

      So, I focus on them and occasionally through out some word-love on the guys. I do love men, very very much... and I even put two men on one of my lists here... prompt #2 I think? Billy Collins and Brendan Constantine?

      Sleep well!

  2. Awesome points mentioned....Poetry means boundrylessness, it means freedom of thought, it means free flow of feelings and emotions...language, grammar and rules of writing fo not apply to the frame of poetry....

  3. Sometimes I'm inspired to bend the rules and sometimes a strict sestina takes me over. Today's poem takes something from each inspiration.

  4. I hope it's ok, but have two poems: 'driving the vultures away' and 'a modern old tale' on today because I didn't enter one till after midnight last night so it's from yeterday.