I spoke with featured poet, Marilee Morris, about her writing inspirations and process. Here’s what she shared.
LF: Do you remember writing your first poem? What was it about? MM: One of the earliest poems that I remember writing was this:
I have no reason to live, but to die. So die I must.
The lady is happy but now is dead. Death was her one wish.
Apparently, I thought a lot about death in my teens.
LF: What are some of your favorite creative influences? MM: My very favorite influence was Emily Dickinson. She wrote many short poems and I thought that if she could do it, so could I.
LF: Could you describe your writing process? MM: When I write a poem – first I think about what I want to write. Sometimes this takes a very short while and sometimes it could be several months. It actually took me years to write about my second husbands death. When the thoughts are pulled together in my mind, I write them out in longhand. Set the poem away for a short time. Revise. Set aside. Type into computer. make more changes. Set aside. Look at it again for any more changes and when I am satisfied, I print it out. Then I try it out on an audience, and maybe revise again.
LF: At what point do you decide to stop revising your work? MM: I don’t think a poem is ever quite finished. I have picked up poems from years ago and rewritten them.
LF: What are you working on now? MM: Right now, I am just swirling ideas around waiting for some inspiration from the muses.
LF: Why is poetry important? MM: Poetry is important because it gives us insights into many different areas. It is an art, and poets all seem to have their own style. LF: What do you hope readers take away from your poetry? MM: I would hope that readers see my poetry as being easy to understand, that some of my poems would give them hope, some would make them laugh or cry, or draw some other emotions from them. And maybe inspire them to try to write. One of the fun things that I have done was to run workshops, where I gave prompts and actually have gotten people to write a poem that had never before tried to write a poem.