The Art of Poetry (I)

Her words draw upon our imagination and build connections with our own experiences. She views nature and the world around her as a companion, a mirror in which she sees her own aspirations.



Today I have been reading a lot. Poems written by friends here on WordPress, and poems in print. I have been digging back in my favourite books, standing on my living room’s bookshelf ready to be picked.

Reading others gets me out of my bubble and triggers new connections in my own world. It helps me be more creative. Maybe it can help you, if you get stuck too.

I have decided I would share some of the poets and poems that inspire me the most in this series of posts entitled “The Art of Poetry”.



In this first post, I will share poetry from one of my favourite poets, Sharon Black. She is originally from Glasgow, but lives in the Cévennes (mountains in the South of France). Her poetry is filled with nature and sensuality. The oak tree is a recurrent star in her writings. She also has a gorgeous, appeasing voice when she reads out loud.





I came across her work when I stumbled upon her second poetry collection “The Art of Egg”. I bought the paperback instantly. I am not permitted to share her work from this collection on this blog as it is copyrighted material. In case you are interested or want to read this collection, my two favourite poems so far are Double Helix (p.45) and Firewood (p.46).



One of the two poems I chose to share is published on her blog. It is entitled Fire Pit and it tugged at my heart just as strongly as the two poems I mentioned before.

Fire Pit

After the tears, the promises-to-never,
we stoke the cheminea
with bundles of oak, slide shut the safety grate
and sit, hand in hand,
under a star-crossed sky.

How I envy these flames –
their brilliance when they burn,
their hunger,
their confidence when leaping
from one world into another.

(Silver Wyvern prize, Poetry on the Lake International Competition 2016)

Copyright © Sharon Black 2017

My favourite compositions of Sharon’s are her short pieces. I love how she intertwines feelings and images. She builds up not just a mood, but an entire scene in just two verses.

Her words draw upon our imagination and build connections with our own experiences. She views nature and the world around her as a companion, a mirror in which she sees her own aspirations.

In the fire she depicts, there is more than just flames. Between the lines you can read the organic chemistry of two bodies looking for each other’s warmth. There is envy in her eyes she states as she wishes human moves could be as natural and spontaneously combusting, as the flames devouring the wood.

There are so many dimensions to her words that you can read and reread them and find new layers, yet her words flow and bring you into her world as soon as you start reading.

Emotions run raw, from the pain of heartache, to the light hope, restoring love, trust and dreams. As she is observing the outer world and she is experiencing envy and hunger for more, escape and discovery. Her lines are packed with feelings. I am trying to be exhaustive in drawing them out, but I may be missing some still – that is how rich her poetry feels to me.

Her words transport you to her world. Beginning in a fight that led to tears, as she writes on, she takes us on a journey into the depths of her heart, and we see her soul bare, open and honest, shining true beauty, in tune with the elements around her, as much as with herself.

True inspiring poetry.



West Highland

If I were to lie back, this is the landscape I’d become –
blanched tussocks, copses of pine,
shining lochs, station platform signs translated
to a language I can’t pronounce;

lazy fences, serious houses, two shaggy rams
by a pleated auburn stream,
alder, beech and dithery aspen,
Munros shouldering the lost weight of snow;

a blaze of gorse along the verge, pylons marching
over bog and moor, the ninety-six miles we walked last year
with backache, slippery from sweat and midge spray,
the craic of good friends keeping us upright
as we lost and found the Way.

(published in Agenda, summer 2016)

Copyright © Sharon Black 2017

In this piece, Sharon takes us on a journey again and evokes a hike in the highlands in the summer. She is not a mere teller of story, she becomes the landscape. “If I were to lie back, this is the landscape I’d become” This first line brings power to the rest of the poem and transcends the experience she shares. The readers senses are once again transported and we tag along, not just as witnesses, but as companions, striding along her lines.

The views are gorgeous, and fill me with the strength I need to push on to the end of the hike. As I read, I can feel my muscles ache from the exertion caused by the sustained pace of the group. Sweat is running down my spine. Bugs are buzzing around, landing on my skin, entering my mouth, despite the repelling spray I applied, which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

I can hear my friends laughing and arguing in turns at which turn to take, all the while cursing those damned female midges that are lunching at us.

Yet I am safe. We are back on track and in good company.



My dear friends, fellow artists, and readers,

I hope you enjoyed discovering Sharon Black as much as I enjoyed sharing some of her work with you.

I would love to hear your reactions and your own feelings when reading her words.

Hugs to you all,

© Hailie

PS: My Valiant Soul, I hope this series of posts will inspire you. Special hugs to you!

Featured image: Book cover – The Art of Egg by Sharon Black.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. This is simply wow and mind blowing.
    Her work is truly splendid. Thank you so much for sharing this and dedicating this to me, means a lot friend.
    Really impressive.😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it ❤ I will share more poems from other poets I like soon. This is a writing community. I won't leave a friend stranded ❤ Giant hugs talented soul ❤


  2. ivor20 says:

    Both poems were brilliant in their own way but also similar in her ability to describe the objects and the nature that surrounds her in those scenario’s, creating a wondrous big picture, but only using a small canvass to paint her words on…. I shall definitely be reading more of her incredible writings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your feedback my Ivor ❤ I agree with you. She has a way with words and nature and I suppose the Cévennes settings, where she chose to settle with her family, help her find all the inspiration she needs. I am glad you liked her work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Diana says:

    I’m fond of your art essays; the one featuring Degas and The Girl in Red comes to mind.
    Your opinions are ever interesting to me, and I can imagine you excitedly opening your Sharon Black book and reciting.
    In Fire Pit, I am fascinated by the flames leaping from one world into another. I need to contemplate this further 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, for saying that and enjoying my excitement for art. You picture me so accurately. ❤ Hugs my friend, enjoy your contemplation!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Diana says:

        Hugs sweet lady! Have a glorious evening 🍷😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am!! Having the most wonderful evening 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Diana says:

            Wish…wish… I was there! 💕

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Wish you were here too!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Diana says:

            🌸💕🌸 eyes and lips smiling!

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I am a fan of smiling eyes 🤗

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Diana says:

            🤗 Still smiling, err 6 months later 💕

            Liked by 1 person

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