How do you start a poem?

I wonder if it might be fun to talk a little about process – beginning at the beginning, of course. How do you start a poem? Here are three perspectives:

Jack Gilbert: There’s no one way. Sometimes I’m walking along the street and I find it there. Sometimes it’s something I’ve been thinking about. Sometimes it’s an apparition.

Allen Ginsberg: It’s a feeling that begins somewhere in the pit of the stomach and rises up forward in the breast and then comes out through the mouth and ears, and comes forth a croon or a groan or a sigh. Which, if you put words to it by looking around and seeing and trying to describe what’s making you sigh—and sigh in words—you simply articulate what you’re feeling. As simple as that.

Nicholson Baker: I ask myself: What was the very best moment of your day?

Thoughts?

Advertisements