I am inspired by poetry. Sometimes just a line from a poem touches something within me or inspires an image that stays with me long after I’ve read it. So this weekend instead of doing further research for my novel-in-progress (it’s a historical novel so it begs the question: is there such a thing as too much research?) or working through its increasingly convoluted plot (don’t ask, I don’t know where to begin), I plopped down on my comfy sofa and opened up a book by one of my favourite poets: Lorna Crozier.
The book is called ‘The Book of Marvels – A Compendium of Everyday Things’ and I would have waded through crocodile infested rivers to get hold of this book for the title alone. Luckily for me my local library had a copy on hold just for lil ol’ me and I didn’t have to resort to extreme measures. In this little volume Lorna Crozier brings her attention to everyday things like air, bed, book, chair, crowbar, hands, hinge, washing machine…and she probes their hearts. The result is a magical book of incredible imagery and charm.
A few examples:
Ceiling: The living room ceiling thinks it is a cloud (well, why not?), leveled out, on Prozac maybe, or just satisfied with where’s it’s ended up.
Chair: When the astronauts first landed on the moon, they found a chair, legs sunk halfway in grit, no footprints leading toward it or back. The wooden seat held the patina of much use. They told no one. Someone had been sitting a long time, staring at the earth.
Nose: The nose wishes it had been raised by wolves. Or even by farm dogs, who can sniff out a rat in a stack of bales as high as a house. What envy your nose feels for the blind old mutt who smelled his master, Odysseus, through his disguise, though everyone else was tricked.
As a writer, this gem of a book reminds me to look at things – everyday things – with new eyes; to imagine a life extraordinaire for the most ordinary of things. What inspires you to look at things differently? Music? Art?