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 “A 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.