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object:2.3.1.08 - The Necessity and Nature of Inspiration
book class:Letters On Poetry And Art
author class:Sri Aurobindo
subject class:Integral Yoga
media class:chapter

30 May 1934

I hope to be able to write not only good but very good and very fine poems as a part of Yoga.

To write such poetry, one must first be open to a high or strong or beautiful source of inspiration and secondly one must not be too facile one must be careful of the quality.

30 May 1934
***
20 Sep 1934

I am doubting if there is even one drop of poetical faculty in me.

There is evidence of literary talent in your poems what has not yet come is the inspiration that vivifies the writing. It may come hereafter.

20 September 1934
***
7 Feb 1931

As for the urge, if you resist the inspiration, the chances are that you will lose both the urge and your meditation. So it is better to let the flood have its way especially in this case, of course, for there is no harm in this kind of urge.

7 February 1931
***
3 Apr 1936

But that happens to everybody who is in the habit of writing. The suggesting forces write in the mind without regard to outward opportunity and it is also quite usual for a line to come without any sequel.

3 April 1936
***
4 May 1934

Would you suggest a way to increase thought-power in poetry?

There is no device for that. You have to open from within to a deeper or higher source of inspiration or grow from within into a deeper or higher consciousness there is no other way for it.

4 May 1934
***
27 Jul 1936

Today another poem by Jyoti. Im staggered by her speed in writing. She says lines, chanda, simply drop down, and she jots them down. She feels as if somebody is writing through her.

But that is how inspiration always comes when the way is clear and the mind sufficiently passive. Something drops or pours down; somebody writes through you.

I dont know that by ones mind one can write such things. What do you say?

Not possible. There would be something artificial or made up in them if it were the mind that did it.

How has she opened to the mystic plane? Something akin to her nature or one just opens?

It may be either.

Even when a thing drops down, isnt it rather risky to accept it as it comes, specially the chanda part of it?

If anything is defective, it can be only by a mistake in the transcription.

Does the chanda also come down with inspiration or has one to change it afterwards?

Yes, it comes and is usually faultless if the mind is passive and the source a high, deep or true one. Of course metre as the Supraphysicals understand it!

I shall illustrate my point. Jyoti says she sometimes rejects lines because she doesnt understand their meaning. But since they repeatedly throw themselves on her, she accepts them. When the poem is completed the meaning becomes clear.

The mind ought to be quiet till all is written. Afterwards one can look and see if there is anything to be altered.

27 July 1936
***
28 Jul 1936

Isnt it a fact that the best poetry almost always comes down without any resistance at all?

Usually the best poetry a poet writes, the things that make him immortal, come like that.

28 July 1936
***
29 Jul 1936

After reading Jyotis whole poem, I realised it would have been impossible to write it simply from facility. It is an inspiration-poem.

Of course it is impossible. There must be inspiration. The value of the poem does not rise from the labour or difficulty felt in writing it. Shakespeare, it is said, wrote at full speed and never erased a line.

29 July 1936
***



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