A Sweet Sensation: Life as Poetry

luxuriate in life

“You don’t sit down to form a poem. It forms you.”

I took notice of this line in Bright Star, a movie inspired by the biography of John Keats, the last born of the English Romantic poets. His advice on poetry was for Fanny Brawne, a lover, muse and poetry pupil.

While most of us don’t have the fortune of poets to “stare out the window waiting for inspiration,” we can still apply the advice of poets to living. Keats compared writing poetry to swimming in a lake – the point isn’t to get back on the shore. The point is to luxuriate in the water, the cool sensation against the skin.

In the same way, writing your own life should be more about the sensation than the shore.

Looking back at my list of possible “to-dos” now that I don’t have a day job, I felt more and more tired. How would I fit it all in?

Stop. The simple pleasures in life should never become busy work.

If you’re thinking, “It sure feels like that, lately,” take an afternoon off to float without a care. Shorten the to-do list. Simplify your schedule.

We all need to get things done, sure … but be don’t let the artist fall apart in the quest to form a life. Don’t let the hobbies and traditions become obligation instead of joy.

Leave space in your schedule for life to form you.

Savor every sunset.

Walk through a pocket of mist on a whim.

Marvel, stop and stare at art in motion.

Slow down.


Listen to your body.

Listen to your heart.

When life is poetry, it becomes a soft swell and fall of splendor.

Spread the love. If my writing helps or inspires you, please share it with other people.

xoxo Melissa


How to live life like a winter sunset.

Come to your senses.

22 ways to practice the art of relaxation.

Photo by Έλενα Λαγαρία

Check out Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, coming January 2016 from Delacorte Press/Random House. Visit her author site here.


1 Katie June 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I needed this simple lovely advice. Slow down, don’t let the artist fall apart in the quest. Yes, thanks. I can forget that in my energy bursts. I can forget that I’m not in a race to get somewhere. I must learn to just be. You are a wise old soul, young Melissa.

2 Melissa June 25, 2010 at 8:02 am

You’re sweet. I feel like for the first time in years I am able to slow down and enjoy life and it makes me believe everyone should find a way to do the same. Have a great weekend!

3 Angela Artemis June 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Hi Melissa,
I love this post. It’s so true. I fear that when I leave my day job (not if!) I’ll experience a sense of anxiety about not having a structure. And, I’ll fill the void with all sorts of lists and must do this at this time sort of things – and feel guilty when I’m unable to stick to my self imposed structure.

I love this line that you wrote: Leave space in your schedule for life to form you.

Very solid advice! Thank you.

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