Greetings and salutations!
The internet is a fantastic resource for those of us surfing around in the arts. It hold vast amounts of information, makes research easier, and connects us with readers and other artists. One of my favorite ways of building a poem comes from perusing the Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive, or APOD for short. Every day NASA posts a new picture of our cosmos (and sometimes our planet) with a brief explanation from a professional photographer and additional links. I wrote an entire collection of poems using this resource.
Another great one to visit is National Geographic’s Photo of the Day site. Every day they post something fascinating: a picture of tadpoles, or snow, or people in Siberia. I can’t believe the beauty of some of the pictures, but there are others whose story transcends art and tells me something I didn’t know about life.
Another fantastic site is PostSecret. Every Sunday, the people behind this blog post a number of homemade postcards they’ve received in the mail from strangers—each one contains a secret. Some of them are funny, and some of them are sad, and a few are incredibly painful. Each time I visit this site, I come away with a deeper understanding of why I wanted to become a writer in the first place. There is something about the raw emotion in each of the exposed secrets that helps me to keep in mind that poetry should say something useful or difficult, or amusing and witty. It should never be just an exercise.
Last but not least, I’d like to recommend Poetry Daily. Sometimes the best poems are written based on an inspiration from another poem. Poets use lines, words, images and more from each other’s work. I’ve seen entire poems created with the lines of other poets’ poems.
Your spark for today: write a poem based on an image, idea, or poem from a website. Have fun and be creative. Good luck!