Thursday, 7 February 2013

Inspired by? - time for thinking caps.

Inspired - aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence

Yesterday I was reminded that on April 30th I am giving a talk entitled 'Inspired by....' Now it would be daft to leave it until the day before to put some thought into it and also very difficult as I will be in Rome until that morning! Enough said! I started thinking about who or what inspires me or has inspired me in the past.

Have you put your mind to that question?

In fact I have found it quite difficult, mostly from the point of view of narrowing down to one or two factors. It is my intention to talk mostly about poetry because to me that seems to be a reaction to inspiration but in the present time. However, I can't claim to have been inspired by any one poet although I have poems in my mind which are memorable eg. Sea Fever by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

I suppose I like it because of the description of the sea and perhaps the simple fact that it is about the sea and the type of life you must live when associating with the sea.

Other sources of inspiration have come from a small selection of authors, some of which wrote 'classic' stories and some much more popularist. Three such writers were Charles Dickens, more specifically 'Great Expectations' and 'A Christmas Carol'; Alistair McLean particularly his description of the sea in 'HMS Ulysses'; and, Dick Francis who deserves more time than I have at the moment. The latter two writers I read for pure entertainment when much younger.

So they are some of the literary examples that are memorable to me but not exclusively so and I apologise to my Indie friends who have both inspired and entertained me over the last two or three years. In many respects they are the most inspiring because they are working right now.

Of course I must also consider people, significant others if you like, who have been inspirational. If you consider inspiration as an empty vessel all those who you contact have some input but not all are significant. The relationship I have with words comes from my father and mainly from the fact that he was hypercritical of those who, in his opinion, had a duty to use the English language correctly. I have used some of his examples in previous blogs and have no intention of repeating them but suffice it to say that his ire raised my awareness of the language. I believe I have passed that on to all three of my children.
Charles Dickens I love to read in part and have talked about his skills and pitfalls previously.

 Alistair McLean

One of my reasons for reading was for entertainment and I can't remember how I got into Alistair McLean but I never found a single volume to be unsatisfactory in any way and I suppose my Steele novels are closer to his style than any other author. I was brought up at a time when there wasn't electronic entertainment, TV started at 6pm with the news and reading was the easiest alternative form of entertainment to enjoy when at home.

 Dick Francis

Dick Francis novels I found very entertaining but I think it was the fact that he was a professional jockey who turned to writing later in his life that attracted me to his work.. Like McLean his books are very readable and are detective style novels centred on the racing fraternity.

As I was out for my daily walk this morning I could sense that there were a variety of inspirational aspects of the walk. It was bitterly cold; as it sometimes is in winter the sun was bright and the views crystal clear; and, it was at times quiet and occasionally deafening! I could mention the icy north wind cutting through my expensive wind proof coat or waxed lyrical about bird song. In fact I was only out for about 45 minutes but the sources of inspiration were legion. If you think you might like to write, allow your senses to expand the horizons of your body to take in those factors that impinge on your consciousness.

I have been inspired also by a visit to Japan, by music and a myriad of other occurrences, so have I answered my own question - No! All I have done is to identify possibilities and they are infinite - Help!!!!

God Bless