The inspiration for this month’s challenge is yet again derived from Jack Kerouac, and I’m not ashamed of it. I spent the majority of this month re-reading Kerouac’s Big Sur, partly in conjunction with the project I began working on in January. It goes without saying that the beatnik poetry and philosophy spark my creative imagination. For those that are unfamiliar with his work, all you need to know is that Kerouac and his buddies founded what they called the Beat Generation, the post-war literary movement in the 1950s that sought to reject traditional values and replace them with spiritual exploration and other modes of uninhibited human expression.
Though often criticized for being a pseudo-intellectual and drug-induced endeavor (something which I don’t necessarily dispute), the Beat Generation did leave behind some poetic treasures that I find particularly raw, human, and beautiful. My favorite passage from Big Sur is as follows:
“But I remember seeing a mess of leaves suddenly go skittering in the wind and into the creek, then floating rapidly down the creek towards the sea, making me feel a nameless horror even then of ‘Oh my God, we’re all being swept away to sea no matter what we know or say or do’ – And a bird who was on a crooked branch is suddenly gone without my even hearing him.”
Needless to say, I ate this passage up and have been fantasizing about writing my own poetry. This is something that I have dabbled in before, but it will be nice to dedicate time this month to write my own excerpts about life, nature, and whatever else happens to come to mind. I plan on sharing four original short poems – check back in at the end of the month to see how I did!
1. Nonsense (a Limerick)
There once was a man full of nonsense Blah blah blah was his correspondence There then came a day He had nothing to say The world waited in silent suspense