Posted by: Adam Roper | April 18, 2009

a day in the life of a poem

This morning I woke up and wrote a poem. By morning I mean 1pm, and by wrote I mean struggled to write. This is how the poem came to be:

1) I made some yerba mate‘ and, since it wasn’t too cold outside, enjoyed it on the back deck. It was raining slightly and a bit chilly.

2) I put on Andrew Bird‘s Noble Beast, to fill the otherwise quiet air with violin.

3) I sat for about 10 minutes and my mind was blank. This is a horrible thing to feel for any creative person. I decided to look online for some poetic inspiration, and I found a poem I really liked by John Keats. Using some of Keats style, and themes, I started to imagine a poem.

4) Then I started to write. I find the best poems are those that happen in a moment where, for a second, we are free to create openly. The poems I dislike the most are the ones that I spent hours on, trying to find the most specific words with This can work to perfect a poem, but I prefer the freedom of creating a poem in the moment.

5) Left it alone. It might need adjustment later, but I kind of like it the way it is.

So, next time you want to write a poem a) drink something remarkable, b) Listen to Andrew Bird, c) Read John Keats, and d) Write something beautiful. Results may vary.


earth in the morning

dear grace, in hands to keep warm by
a garbage truck to take this all away,
all the clutter, all the waste
of days that should be wings

but they have become a prison.

dear mate’, in mornings to keep you awake,
steamed to stay warm and gradually lose flavor,
all the mugs that should be conversation

but they have become an imperfection.

dear rain, has it been so long?
in ponds to capture and keep clean,
i hate the smell of carbon, but
i love waking up beside you.
all our intimacies have made us saints

but they have become emissions.



  1. You have captured a beautiful moment of regular everyday creativity in this blog post. I live for these moments.

  2. great to hear a roper original; keep them coming!
    And I love the new layout fyi. very, very nice

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