Have you ever read a poem that inspired you in your own writing?
Mary Oliver’s poem, “When Death Comes,” is one such poem for me. I have read it several times over the years. It’s one of those pieces that has stayed with me and became even more resonant over time.
My husband died two years ago so when I re-read Oliver’s poem recently it was from this new perspective of understanding how fleeting our time is here, how every moment is a blessing.
Her work inspired me to write a poem called, “When Love Comes.” I started by following the general form of her poem but then allowed my poem to flourish and take off in its own direction. Though I started off using her form as a guide, I made sure I used my own words and my own ideas.
The result? I like it enough that it’s going to be the final poem for my poetry book to be published later this year.
Below are a few tips for using another poet’s work as a jumping off place for your own poetry: Read more