Finding Inspiration for Poetry by Imitating Great Writers

It is no great secret that writers are readers before they ever pick up the pen. And because of this, every writer is influenced by the people they read. The greatest writers in history have hints of other writers in their verses: Shakespeare had Petrarch, and Petrarch had Ovid, just to name a few. In this project, I will be following in the footsteps of the master poets: immersing myself in their lives, reading their works, and writing my own poetry. More specifically, each day for 20 days, I will choose a poet to study, read a brief biography for context, and then spend time reading their poetry to truly get a feel of how they wrote and what they wrote about. After this, I will spend the rest of my time writing my own poetry in imitation or as a response to what I read. At its core, this is a project in seeking inspiration for my writing from the people who wrote most successfully and learning from their experiences and my own. I believe that the writing process will become easier for me and that my writing itself will become more eloquent, more sophisticated, and generally better by the end of this project. This personal creative experiment is basically about looking into what it took for others to write that which is still meaningful and try to create that myself.