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What inspires a poem/prose? Tolkein.

In Poesiringen in Norway aninvited member's Poetry site this was put in 3rd January 2012.

Today is the birthday of J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien (1892), born to English parents in Bloemfontein, South Africa, where his father was working in a bank. Tolkien was always fascinated with languages, he went to school at Oxford, first studying Classics, and later, English Language and Literature. He came across an Old English poem by Cynewulf, which contained a couplet that fascinated him: "Hail Earendel brightest of angels / Over Middle Earth sent to men." The couplet found new life in the universe of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1955), which takes place in Middle Earth and includes a half-Elven character named Earendil the Mariner, who eventually becomes a star.

In 1925, Tolkien returned to Oxford University as a professor of Anglo-Saxon and, later, English Language and Literature. One day, while grading exams, he discovered that a student had left one whole page in his examination booklet blank. Tolkien, for reasons unknown even to him, wrote on the page, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." This single line turned into a bedtime story that he told his children, and from there, a book: The Hobbit (1937).

Ann:- It would be interesting to hear what started you writing a poem, what was the source of the inspiration and how you started. Probably different for the different poems/prose.


Yes the story of Tolkien is quite interesting and I have been to the town of his birth in South Africa.
I use to play The Hobbit on my Spectrum hence I had to read the book as it directed the comp journey.
Apart from that I think it was at school I first wrote and it was put in the school magazine , I have tried to get a copy of the magazine but no luck. This was in 1956/7
I think that my English teacher gave me the first grounding in writing, but I left school when I was 15 and 3 months old to join the Royal Air Force as a Boy Entrant
I use to write in a biggish note book then, it is some place in the house. The first piece in the book is:-


Nowhere does the sun feel so good
Nowhere does the wind blow so gentle
As in the heart of a peaceful man

I have stuck with this philosophy most of my life and later other influences came in such as an Asian teacher who taught me that inner peace.
Now I am in a spiritual environment with many teachers in the ways of the Spirit world and the ways to be here on this Plain.
My Poetry is mostly from the spirit side but I occasionally sidestep and write other pieces, I love to write for people and use to do this when away from home.
I don't drink much at all but use to go to the pubs in Canada and other countries I was working in, there I would write for people on beer mats, I still have some from Fridays in Ottawa that are duplicates of the ones I gave to others.
One place I use to go in Ellis Russ in Africa, the manager or the restaurant (female) I would go to would always bring me a pen and paper, candles were put on the table for me to write while waiting for food it was fun, I have no copies of those pieces.
Other than those times I just sit here and write things, it is like someone else takes the pen and off we go, and I thank them for that.
Now you have the story of Yenti a little abridged but most of it, Yours Ian,T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

As cheesy as it might be my first poem was inspired by love for the girl who became my wife. But what inspired to to again venture into poety was that horrendous excuse for a poem recited at Obama's inauguration. I thought if This is the best poetry being produced these days, hell even I could do better than that. Thus you are now all being banged up side the head with my attempts to write verse lol...........stan

Oh thank you, but I feel you haven't understood exactly what I wanted, what inspires a poem, you could choose one and then tell us what it was inspired it.

Love, ah yes you all know what/who, inspired me, :)

I often am walking in the forests and the sight of a leaf or the sun leading up a tree to the sky can prompt a poem. And like Tolkein, I am always excited by the blank page, never scared of blemishing it, painting or cutting it up to make a paper sculpture. I must find a poem and show you what I mean; not to belittle your answers they were very interesting too.

Ann :)

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

author comment

You mean a particular poem.......I'll pick a poem and get back to you (Maybe "sins of the flesh" lol........stan

I was awoken one night by a nearby train, and in the darkness I could just see my wife, which led me to wondering what she saw in me, and how lucky I was, and so...
...I wrote "What Have I Lost".
It's from the old site. I'll post it here, again.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

And today E and I were discussing things:-

We were just discussing the fact that I made a card for my French teacher who has won a Palmes Academique from France,  E. said that the thing I have made is very particular and special, and would it be appreciated by M, who is herself a far more conventional conservative type of person. But I made it in order to show that I cared.

He said I made it for myself, well yes in a way, I like to create something new, and like the excuse to do so, but the final thing is given to her to show that I prize her. Our creations, be they poems or other art are firstly, of course, written for oneself as was the poem I have just written, in a way, and yet it was firstly to reply to a letter and to hope the recipient could see my view with me, a kind of communication with another. We are social beings and need to communicate, and that's what we do when working on a site of poetry, it is the same thing with whatever we do and in that way we see ourselves and expand our thoughts.

Yesterday it was a pink dawn, today coldly pale grey-blue, 

DAWNING on 5th January 2012.

So quietly the dawn rises from the sleeping hills,
its shawl of grey diaphanous and spare, 
the edges touched with silver and with gold,
the firs and pines beneath, their inky brown,
with feathered birches gently brushing tall
above the stilled bright houses in the dale.

The tyttebær* green and shiny, coat the garden stones,
the bird bath frozen to and sheet of light, 
the benches with their cushions of soft snow,
as day begins to fill the view, so quelling night.

*Tyttebaer are the 'Peeping Berries' that grow
on rocks under the forests, they are evergreen
wit shiny leaves,to protect them, they shine like
silver in the low sun making a carpet under the

On our veranda they are always green, their
pale pink flowers, bell-like in the Spring and the
very red berries, like holly, in the Autumn.
A good rock plant to have in this climate to
brighten up Winter.

Well that was one inspiration that you have so often received from me, my view:-

"Movement in a view" ANN HARVEY (Waddicor)
4 30 pm. March 17th 2008

As I walk on our walking machine I think of what I see outside the big window in front of me:-

The seagulls glide past
turning over
and backwards,
like leaves, furiously tossed about
by the icy cold North wind.

The wimple-flag contorts
wrung-out in shapes,
doing a runic dance
against the back-cloth of the pale blue sky
and the white clouds.

All the while we stay indoors
watching the drama of the weather,
warmed by the sun
unaware of the icy wind and
cosy in our Winter clothes.

The hills look unmoved by the scene
ever still in the meditational changes
of their coats
of trees and lakes,
houses and people walking,
mice and moose.

The thermometer goes though the greatest changes
shooting up in the midday sun
to heights undreamed of
in the Winter months of Norway.

Then the sun goes down,
the temperature drops,
the wind drops,
the seagulls go to rest
while all the while the mountains are still,
so still, standing as they always do
only changing so -- slowly
that in one lifetime
we notice nothing.

As you see that was written in 2008 when I was beginning to write poetry.

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

author comment

Sins Of The Flesh which I posted here a while back was inspired by a water tower nearby which had been built to looh like a peach. But viewed from a certain angle it looks more like a butt and instead of being referred to as a peachoid as was intended it is often called the buttoid lol.........stan

You wag Stan.

Here is a poem by a Norwegian, forgive the translation it may be so much less poetic!!

Diktet jeg alltid drømte om.
Hans Boerli.

Når Diktet jeg alltid drømte om
streifer sinnet mitt,
da fyker ordene unna,
lik tørrlauv på rimgrå mark
når storfugl letter i skogen
med tunge vingeslag.

When the poem I always dreamt of
goes through my mind,
words take flight,
like dry leaves on frosted fields
when the capercaillie flies off in the woods
with a heavy flapping of wings.

He is a poet inspired mostly by nature, a timber worker with his horse and axe living in the forests all year round.


"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

author comment
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