We don’t create out of a vacuum. Something prompts us.
Occasionally it’s a need to express a paean of praise. More often it’s a problem or calamity. Artists have a glut of material right now.
But in terms of creating Wild Poplars the question is simply a practical matter. I’m like the old woman living in a shoe. There’s no space flexible or large enough to give all my creative children the room they need to play in. I’m not prepared to get tied up in all kinds of tenancy agreements (read publishing contracts, subscriptions etc) and using techno-platforms I don’t want to set foot on.
Desire fuels creativity…
It’s time for a nursery rhyme. I like this gentler version by William Wallace Denslow in his book Denslow's Mother Goose (1901), although my children for a long time lived in a shoe box rather than shoe:
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth with plenty of bread,
She kissed them all fondly and sent them to bed.
Like all children, mine don’t want to stay in bed. They’re ready to cut loose from my apron strings and sing, whisper, howl to whoever would care to listen… They want their own place and I need a new space to dance new creative endeavours!
Paradoxically, these poetic children also want to stay close to their siblings and their mother, near their friends. Their home needs to allow for intimacy and also expansion. They want access to all areas but be free to take up roost where they feel most secure: horses in the field, cooks in the kitchen, winged creatures in The Bird Garden or Insectarium.
Take ‘A Little Pema in the Night’. Pema Chodron is my one of my companions in the dark, as the poem shares… I’d like you to know where you can find her (in The Dark Room, obviously). However, for the moment she graces the Architect’s Shed as if she senses she’s needed now, as we actually discover our vulnerability as a species, as a world...
In many senses, a poet invites you to be a voyeur - or perhaps to join with him or her in being a voyeur. There is nothing to be afraid of in this. Indeed, we may discover the intimacy which underpins our very existence.
Ah, the Architect tells me we’re done with intimacy for now, there’s a much more practical question to be raised…