A poet's anniversary
Updated: Apr 12
Poetic License #4121964
April 12, 2022 - An Anniversary, 58 Years In The Making
Now, at age seventy-five, somewhere in misty memory is the thought that I had written poems before the first one I kept. Perhaps as homework, a task to be endured, in English class, untutored, uninspired.
But so thick is that mist that the truth is unremembered.
I’m not even sure that this first poem written in my mind late, near midnight, on April 12, 1964—a date, which in itself sounds prophetically poetic to my ear, when reduced to its numeric words: “four-one-two-one-nine-six-four”—was experienced as ‘a poem’.
Truly it was inspired thought. It was a moment in time. The smell and feel of the air, the heightened attention to surroundings all combined to project into my mind a series of words. Not compelled by thought but impelled into thought, into my perception, these words spoke through me.
I had a very strong feeling of joy at being alive, at that reflective moment in time, the words appeared before me in my consciousness as if I had spoken them into memory rather than them speaking to me from someplace ‘a priori’ to my knowing or experience. So profound were the words to me… that they remained on the view screen of my consciousness until I could get home where I was compelled to write them down.
Because of those words, inspired from without, I was the vibrating tuning fork, that moments before was pure motionless, awaiting the hand of inspiration to strike me upon the solidarity of the moment and set me humming.
What appeared, scribbled on a page of notebook paper, that (now) morning, formed themselves in lines and stanzas instead of sentences—as I perceived them; a poem in ten lines, in a single stanza of 29 words, which was prosaically titled: “April XII ”.
Like an artist’s first painting, it is not for me to judge its profundity, impact or lack thereof, but for me it is what started me on the path of writing poetry—which is all that matters.
It was the demonstration of the indwelling of inspiration from without—a place I knew not, nor had previously experienced. It was a place of pure trust and acceptance. It has remained in me, that place from which all inspiration comes—writing without knowing from whence the beginning comes nor when the end will arrive.
This technique or process that might then have been called ‘stream of consciousness’ is known today as ‘Writing Into The Dark.’ In poetry and novels I have been using this process now for fifty-eight years. What a blessing. Thank you Lord, for this anniversary of on-going inspiration.
Here reprised is poem #1 of over 4300 poems written to date:
On an April night
how certain sounds
in the air at night
can remind you
of different times
of different people,
©rjs robertjsadler 4.12.1964 & 4.12.2022
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