I've been writing poetry for as long as I have been able to string words into sentences on paper, from before I even knew what a poem was. Perhaps my first inspiring poet was Dr. Seuss, I don't know exactly. But poetry has been informing my life for a long time and I feel so lucky to have been exposed to it. While poetry isn't directly related to my artwork, it definitely inspires me.
My two favorite poets are Robert Frost and Anna Akhmatova. Most people are familiar with Robert Frost's work, particularly with the poem 'The Road Not Taken'.
While I really like this poem and the message it sends, it's not my favorite. My favorites are 'Mending Wall' and 'Wind and the Window Flower'. You can read them here:
Frost's poetry is lyrical, smooth and I always finish reading thinking 'I wish I had thought to say this most amazing thing'. The hallmark of a powerful writer.
My other favorite poet, Anna Akhmatova, was a Russian poet, first published in 1907 at the age of 18. She was incredibly prolific, though she led a tragic life, and I can't help but think how it must have heavily influenced her work and her need to be prolific about her life.
This is one of my favorites from Akhmatova:
Solitude by Anna Akhmatova
So many stones have been thrown at me,
That I'm not frightened of them anymore,
And the pit has become a solid tower,
Tall among tall towers.
I thank the builders,
May care and sadness pass them by.
From here I'll see the sunrise earlier,
Here the sun's last ray rejoices.
And into the windows of my room
The northern breezes often fly.
And from my hand a dove eats grains of wheat...
As for my unfinished page,
The Muse's tawny hand, divinely calm
And delicate, will finish it.
The other 'poet' that inspires me, though not a poet in the sense that he writes poems, is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I haven't read any of his works in his native language, but the English translations of his books are the most lyrical, beautiful writing I've ever read. I can only imagine that it is even better when read in Spanish, directly through the author's native tongue. Marquez's writing is just as magical as the stories themselves.
I love poetry for its ability to speak volumes in so few words. With just a few pen strokes, you can send untold numbers of messages to those reading a poem, because the message taken away is different for each person. That it affects each person differently is also what I love about art.
Andrea at Studio6