‘I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe;
...Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
...’fool,’ said my Muse to me, ‘look in thy heart and write.’’
Who knew that I would find Sir Philip Sidney to understand the pain of a writer? These are such beautiful words, carefully explaining the woes of a creative writer who is going through a writer’s block. These lines I have borrowed from the first sonnet of ‘Astrophil and Stella’. This sonnet is dedicated to Stella. The poet wants to write something that will impress her intelligence and through this he hopes to win her grace. It is in this process that he wants to compose a piece of writing but cannot because his creativity is exhausted for now. He is completely de-motivated and he cannot find inspiration to write. He calls his brain ‘sun-burned’ because it is parched and dry with ideas. The poet has tried to seek inspiration from other writer’s works with no results. And then suddenly, as if with a miracle, his ‘Muse’ tells him to write whatever he feels from his heart. This is to show that Stella is in his heart and that she is the motive for his writing. She inspires him. And that is the most beautiful aspect of this sonnet.
But what makes me think is that why was I attracted to the aspect of the sonnet dealing with the writer and his woes. I have been debating this question in my mind for a long time now: can creativity be exhausted? Will not a piece of work re-create itself later if you don’t write it down at the same moment? Is imagination this fickle? And then, how long can you write about things that are close to your heart. In my understanding, the only way you can do this is by being multi-faceted. This way you have a range of things to write about and yet never worry about your words tiring out. I am still thinking about this problem. From what I have heard, these are very hard to write and harder to study. But for now I am really excited because I understood a sonnet. Yay!