Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net
Holly Lisle's Vision

Reflections of Starlight

By Nic Bronson

© 2002, By Nic Bronson

I've heard a lot of things about poets.

I've heard that they're depressive, suicidal, with sick twisted minds; that they're happy people who just like the sound of rhymes; that they're deep, intelligent social critics who explore the nuances of our society; and that they're slightly crazed individuals pattering out little ditties that make sense to no one but themselves. 

Guess what? It's all true. And like it or not, I'm a poet. 

For me, writing poetry started a few years ago. Though I'd been writing in some form or another (and indeed, a few poems), I actually produced the majority of my work to date over a three-year period, from 1997 - 1999, the final years of high school. School was never fun for me, and I swung between hopeless depression and slightly less hopeless depression, and though I'm not sure exactly how it happened, one day in 1997 I started to write poetry and forgot to stop. 

It was almost therapeutic, a way to deal with my emotions by immortalizing them on paper. I'd never read many poems, so I fairly quickly developed my own, somewhat technically flawed style, . It wasn't until much later that I started reading and refining my work into something I'm proud enough to show others. 

Since then I've finished a book, though it's never been published and I doubt it ever will.  But it is for me a poetical documentation of that period of my life, to its somewhat happier conclusion. 

There have been many influences on my poetry since I first put pen to paper, and while I just fell into it, it's been some of those great poets of history that really inspired me to keep going. I've always liked rhyming poetry: in fact 99% of my poetry is in rhyming form, so first on my list were some of the great English poets and their works: Banjo Patterson's "The Great Australian poet," Edgar Allen Poe's “The Raven,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge with his “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” and the opium-induced “Kubla-Khan,” and just about anything by Robert Browning, to name a few. 

A lot of my work around 1999 was inspired, at least in part, by Baudelaire, one of the greatest unappreciated poets of the 19th century who is only now being recognized for his morbid genius, which went unappreciated in the time where French Romantic poetry was in ascendance. He was unafraid to write about death, tragedy, and the sorrow of the human condition, and the beauty he found in these neglected topics. 

A lot of my late work, however, has been inspired by poets much older than those so far listed, and my current work  shows their influence as I take my poetry far more seriously than I ever did before. The social criticism, epic scope, and hitting imagery of Dante's Divine Comedy and Homer's Illiad and Odyssey inspired me to do more than just capture a feeling or situation, but rather try to explore a more complex theme or set of themes. The shorts "Absurdity I - VIII," "Raining Dreams," and my current work in progress, "Heaven and Earth," are all part of a planned collection called Absurdity, a comment on modern life. 

Poetry is beautiful and mournful, depressing and uplifting, flowing and stilted, philosophical and simple. It's a paradox that cannot easily be defined. Like life.