Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. –Thomas A. Edison
I sat down at my desk on Saturday (my morning outdoor projects were complete and I had the house all to myself) to work on “The Sonnet”. The poem that I have procrastinated, that has been a problem to write, that has plagued me. I pored over my notes about Solomon and The Song of Songs, quotes from those scriptures; the notes on Valentine, his resistance to Claudius, his beheading; the notes concerning the coming of Christ. I read through my lists of rhymes; I scoured them looking for connections. I drew lines at the top of a blank sheet to indicate iambic pentameter. Back and forth between the three notebooks that contain a couple pages each of penciled notes and a file on Inkpad Notepad. How do I start? What words do I rhyme? Why am I doing this to myself?
And then I saw them. Two words. Two words that weren’t even on the same line. They were drawn to each other. The first just one blue line down and to the left of the second written in #2 pencil on legal pad yellow. “wisdom”. “song”. And the next word flowed out like it belonged. “sung”.
I HAVE THE START OF A LINE.
And then I notice a quote from The Song. “I am sick of love.” And the line almost finished itself.
“Wisdom’s song sung from sickened heart.”
But is it iamic pentameter? Close enough. Next line. What are some common elements of these three subjects? Fire? Plague? Losing one’s head? Where was that quote from Solomon?
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Song of Solomon 8:6
Okay. Flame, also connected with end-time scenarios. How do I connect them? Plagues are also a part of the final days. Somehow St. Valentine is a patron saint of plagues. And there’s the line from Solomon, “I am sick of love.” How do I…
And then the next line just seemed to materialize from the tip of the pencil lead.
“plagued with fever of most vehement flame”
But the end words “heart” and “flame” aren’t even in any of my lists of rhyming words. There’s a new challenge. But now I have a direction. Now I have two lines that I didn’t have before. My 1% of inspiration. Back to perspiring.
Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey