dream poetry

Originally posted on February 6, 2010 at 5:11 PM

I’ve blogged before about thinking of poem ideas as I’m falling asleep. But last night, for the first time, I realized that I actually write poetry in my sleep. No kidding.

When Kyle got up this morning at 5, it was still midnight-dark outside. The soft sounds of his getting dressed woke me directly from a dream… about which I was composing poetry in my head… while still asleep. This is hard to believe even as I write it, even though it happened to me. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life.

I was sort of composing as the dream progressed, being inspired by the things happening to me in my mind. Either that or I was writing in my head and dreaming images to go along with it. But I think it was the first one, because I have the impression of searching for phrasing that would match perfectly.

I was dreaming about a close friend from high school that I eventually had to give up to loss. She was giving me a necklace that my brother actually gave me when I was little: a gold chain with a little ballerina on it. This girl was in dance with me, so it makes sense. We were under this enormous oak tree in a field I didn’t recognize, lying on our sides together on the old sleeping bag/blanket that my parents used to use for stuff like that.

The field was the most amazing shade of green, the exact color in my favorite bridal picture. The whole scene was green and gold from the sun, the leaves of the tree were a deep, rich burgundy. She was behind me with her skeletal-thin arms wrapped around me, the one beneath me coming up under my armpit and the one above me wrapping to clasp her other around my neck.

The leaves from the tree started to fall, detaching loudly and scattering softly. I knew it was time to leave. When she felt me start to sit up, she wouldn’t let go of me; her arms tightened too much. The weight of her on my shoulders became lighter. She started to dissolve a little while she grabbed me, like some profane swamp thing trying to suck me down.

I remember this wording so vividly: She was like an old house that I used to inhabit, but it was time to move. I stood in the overgrown yard and looked up at the windows, like black, vacant eyes, and knew if I didn’t leave I would never be happy. I made the choice. I turned and ran from that house, and I never looked back.

When I woke up, I jumped up and wrote it all down, thinking it was so amazing. But the poem is useless; it makes no sense. It’s a misguided brain jumble with beautiful phrasing… a disjointed creation of my uninhibited mind. But it wasn’t a totally lost cause, because waking up brought me to conscious awareness of my mind’s poetic mood. Before I went back to sleep I wrote a real poem (about something else) that I love.

How many other poems have I created in my dreams that never got written down? I remember when I started taking German in high school, my Grandma said that you know you’re really fluent when you starting thinking in German. Does dreaming in poems mean I’m fluent in poetry now? Have I crossed some barrier that I never would have realized if Kyle hadn’t woken me up? Cool.

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  • A. B. Davis

    This is so cool and creepy. I was actually looking for poetry revision type posts and stumbled across this. Glad I did. 🙂

    • Thank you! I actually forgot about this post entirely, believe it or not. I do remember the dream, though!