A photograph to inspire poetry: Don’t judge by appearances

Don't judge by appearances

Don’t judge by appearances.  The photograph above might at first appear to be a photograph of a snake.  In reality though, it is a photograph of a salamander.   In the photograph, the legs either can’t be seen or can’t be seen clearly.

This photograph can inspire poetry, but it also can teach a lesson: don’t judge by appearances.  Just because something or someone appears a certain way, doesn’t mean they are that way.  (As a note, using the contrast between a snake and salamander, isn’t meant to imply snakes are bad.  It is just meant to show that relying on an initial appearance can lead to a mistake.)

Here is a poem inspired by the photograph:

she looked at his suit
as he walked in the office
and decided then
he wouldn’t get the job

Poetry essay: Questions to ask a poet

Some of you may interview poets.  For example, you might have a blog in which you post interviews with poets whose work you have read.  You might also discover a poet and simply want to know more about them, their work, and poetry.  If something like this is the case, you might be wondering what kinds of questions you could ask a poet during an interview.  Here are some ideas:

Do you recall your first published poem or the first poem you posted online?  What was it?  What was it about?

Sometimes a poet can find themselves writing about the same subjects.  Examples of this might be writing about love or nature.  When you find yourself writing about the same subjects, how do you keep your poems fresh and different from each other?

Do you ever read poems you wrote months or years later?  If so, how do you feel about them when you do?  How do you interpret them?  Did your view of them change over time?

Could you explain a particular poem you wrote (suggest one)?  What is it about?  What does the symbolism mean?

Do you use form in your poetry?  If so, how so?  Do you use traditional forms?  Do you invent forms?  Do you develop a form as you write a poem?

How long does it take you to write a poem?  Do you write them at one time, or do you come back and revise them?

Are your poems more inward looking, focusing on your life and experiences, or are they more outward looking, focusing more on the world and society?

How has your work changed over time?  Are you writing about the same or different things?  How has the expression changed?

What kinds of poetry do you like to read?  What subjects do you like to read about?  What styles of poetry do you prefer?

Do you prefer poetry that is obscure, with a meaning hidden in symbolism, or do you prefer poetry that is overt, where the meaning is clear to the reader?

These are some ideas for questions.  Of course, you could ask other questions.  When asking questions, the idea should be to learn something.  It should be to learn something of value for yourself and for those who might read the answers you get.

If any readers would like to interview M. Sakran (via electronic text communication), please contact M. Sakran using the form on the Contact page.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Lizard


Above is an artwork of a lizard.  It can inspire poetry.  One idea is that a poet could write about the idea of someone or something trying to appear tougher or stronger than they are.

The lizard in this artwork is inflating its neck which has bright colors.  This makes the lizard look larger and possibly more imposing to predators or other lizards.  The display though, has nothing to do with the actual toughness of the lizard.  The inflated neck has nothing to do with the lizard’s strength, other than possibly indicating some level of its health.  It is just for show.

A poet could apply this idea to people.  They could apply it to physical confrontations, for example where one person thinks they may have to fight another person, and so they try to appear tougher than they are to scare their opponent off.  They could also apply it to business, political or social situations.  There are many instances where one party to something may be in conflict or have dealings with another party, and it can be to the first party’s advantage to appear stronger than they are.  Sometimes the illusion of strength can be advantageous in a situation.

He is a poem inspired by this artwork:

When they called
to schedule
the job interview
he paused a moment
to check his imaginary calendar
before letting them know
when he would be available.

Interview with: Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine

M. Sakran recently had an interview with Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. You may remember Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, as M. Sakran had a poem published with them in March of 2016. There was a post on this blog about it at the time, and you can read it here: Poem published in Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine.

The interview was about M. Sakran’s writing.  It is part of series of interviews with writers.  You can read the interview here: M. Sakran interview with Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine.

Parts of the interview focus on poetry and in it you can learn more about M. Sakran and M. Sakran’s writing.

It was an honor to be able to participate in the interview.