Walking the Poem

Walking the Poem

Do you ever take your poems out for a walk?

I take my poetry out for a ramble most mornings. It sounds crazy, but I have discovered walking and poetry go hand I hand when it comes to creativity and focus.

Over the years I have developed a writing routine that involves waking up in the morning and going out for a five-mile hike. When I start walking I have an idea or concept for a new poem, or an existing poem going through the draft stage. By the time I have completed the walk the idea, or draft, has been taken through the wringer and either polished or ditched.

There is science behind this. When we partake in an activity, like walking, the unconscious part of the brain takes control of the movement element and frees the conscious part of the brain to work and focus on other things. Poetry provides a natural focus when walking, as both activities share a steady, continuous and rhythmic pattern.

The union between poetry and walking has inspired some of our greatest poets and produced wonderful poems.

One of my favourite pieces is taken from β€œA Navajo Indian Prayer of the Second Day of the Night Chant.”

With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.

In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.

Do you do anything different or unusual when writing poetry?

I would love to hear about it.

17 Comments

i take poetry in my bus-rides. or maybe my bus-rides take poetry with it. πŸ™‚

This post remind me of Stephen King as on his memoir, he said walking is his way of battling writer’s block. πŸ™‚

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I never thought of walking and poetry being a match but it makes so much sense now I think about it. I love going for walks and if it helps me create more poems while getting fresh air and exercising then thats perfect! I tend to put on certain playlists that inspire me or I will watch a creative or unique film, the one thing I always do is tap my leg or chest with my free hand as i am writing and reading back through the piece its my drum beat πŸ™‚ Lovely post x

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you Hayley, your kind words are appreciated. I like the tip about the tapping and drum beat. It is probably linked to the rhythm aspect. I might give it a try. Thank you for visiting and for your comments.

    Liked by 1 person

Yes, whenever I start writing then get stuck, I walk on it or sleep on it. Both do wonders! Often the initial inspiration for a poem comes when walking around or upon awaking. I love the free flow of subconscious inspiration over trying to use too much brain power. It’s much more fun that way!

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That was a lovely read! I don’t write poetry – at least not yet. But I do find that I gain fresh insights when I give my writing a rest. I prefer to go for a walk, but that’s been challenging since we moved. I used to walk about 5 miles a day between walking my youngster to and from school and going for my actual walk to the water and back. Even doing the dishes or having a cup of coffee on the couch, though, can bring forth new perspective. This adds depth to my writing as I find myself looking at the topic from different angles without actually trying – just as you described. Isn’t that a fascinating process? The Navajo Indian Prayer really sums up walking and consciousness. To feel the Earth in its aliveness from above, beneath, before, around, and below is an acute and powerful awareness that spills over into the creative process.

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    Laura, thank you for visiting the blog and taking time out to comment. As you say it is a fascinating process, creativity, and it is good to see how other writers /poets go through the process. I think connecting with anything we are doing or what is around us helps with writing. I am glad you liked the Navajo Indian Prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

I’m fortunate to have a dog who is an excellent writers assistant. She takes me for walks at least twice a day, but never spoils them with idle chatter. I often return with the next bit of a story ready to write.

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I think that’s why I’ve always enjoyed walking alone. I’m actually a big chatterer, but I need a certain amount of alone time. Walking outside is the best.

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    I agree with that Laura, I am exactly the same. The time alone helps to quieten the tongue and give the creative part of the brain time to work. Thanks for commenting.

    Like

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