Thoughts on Inspiration

Yesterday I listened to an interview with the Bosnian poet Abdulah Sidran who talked about creation of one of his poems. He said that the poem that seems as if it had been writen during the war was actually written in 1985, and that he had dreamed it first in Macedonian, the language he does not speak. When he woke up he phoned a friend in Macedonia and she told him to write it down. That’s how his poem “Mora” (Nightmare) was created. As far as I know the poem has not been officially translated into English but at the bottom of this article I enclose a very good translation into Italian, and my  translation into English.

To inspire and to be inspired – isn’t that what we all look for in our creative process?

To  be inspired is not taking others’ ideas and making them their own. To inspire someone is to make one look inside themselves and come up with a creation of their own. Not everyone has sensibility and the workings of an artist, but being true to oneself, looking inside instead of imitating is the right way to start.

Appreciate yourself and what you have to offer, and be honest …… with yourself.



A photo of me drawing inspiration from nature (taken by the most inspiring person in my life)


Che stai facendo, figlio?
Sogno, madre mia, sogno che sto cantando,
e tu mi chiedi, nel sogno: che stai facendo, figlio?
Cosa canti nel sogno, o figlio?
Canto, madre mia, che avevo una casa.
E adesso la casa non ce l’ho. Questo canto, madre mia.
Avevo la mia voce, o madre, e la mia lingua avevo.
E ora non ho né voce né lingua.
Con la voce che non ho, nella lingua che non ho,
dalla casa che non ho, io canto la mia canzone, o madre.

-Translation into Italian of Abdulah Sidran’s poem “Mora” 

Here follows my translation into English:

What are you doing  son?
I’m dreaming mother, dreaming that I am singing.
And in my dream you ask me: what are you doing, son?
What do you sing in your dream, son?
Mother, I sing that I used to have a house.
And now I don’t have a house. That’s what I sing, Mother.
I used to have a voice, Mother, and I used to have a language.
And now I have no voice, no language.
With the voice that I don’t have, in the language that I don’t have,
from the house that I don’t have I sing my song, Mother.

You may ask yourself what this poem has to do with the attached photo, music and my musings on inspiration. The common denominator is the process of creation, the way inspiration works sometimes, and  I just felt like sharing with you.

Have a good Monday and the whole week ahead!

35 Comments on “Thoughts on Inspiration

  1. “Looking inside instead of imitating is the right way to start” – most definitely! But as we were commenting in the poetry group I attend, it is much easier to be critical than it is to be creative!


  2. La poesia e’ bellissima e toccante , grazie per questo post iper-ispiring…..
    E tu sei magnifica nella foto, complimenti anche a chi l’ha scattata!


    • I enclosed the Italian translation thinking of you, Anna. E casi come originale 🙂 Ti ringrazio attenzione e sono contenta che ti ha piaciutto. Un abbraccio.


  3. I don’t have a house either. As you know we had to sell the apartment and this forced me back on the rental market… So, I can relate to this nightmare, now half my salary goes to someone else and I have nothing left for it.


      • As long as I keep living in the rented apartment… It really sucks. It took me years of hard work and then we could finally buy or own place. Now it’s all gone to waste. What’s even more annoying is that immigrants get subsidized apartments from the government, paid for by my tax money!


        • Outrageous I know. I misunderstood at first cause I did not know that renting an apartment takes a half of your salary. Maybe you should move to a new country, where life is cheaper.


          • I’m stuck here now, because I can’t move away from my son, but I wouldn’t mind living somewhere were life is cheaper and the temperatures are higher.


    • Ah, you meant your rent is half your salary? Sorry, I did not understand immediately. That’s a lot of money for renting an apartment. 😦


  4. Such a haunting poem. It made me think of the many people around the world who are having to give up their homes because of war and greed. But your photo is so beautiful and serene. What a lovely place to be. That scenery could inspire lots of good thoughts and feelings. Have a wonderful week, Paula.


  5. There must have been so many repercussions from that war, Paula. It’s not an issue you speak about, but it’s a sad little poem. Definitely the subject of nightmares.
    No one I know looks harder for inspiration than you. 🙂


  6. Beautiful set of ideas and it works well in Italian. I love your translation and the complexity of the thought, confounding past, present and future in the poem. The photograph is lovely too, it looks exactly what I was looking for the cover of my last novel Border Line (set in Slovenia)!


    • You were close – this photo was captured in Austria 🙂 I am grateful that you like my translation Hilary and that the whole post made sense to you. Thank you very much.


  7. A lovely thoughtful post, Paula, and a beautiful photo of you. The poem is heart-wrenching in your translation: I don’t know how you make such an experience bearable. The loss of language seems particularly awful because it’s the centre of identity. I’m blessed to live in Australia, although we have a very dark indigenous history. My visits to Poland have opened me up to the immediacy of the horrors of war – and also, in a minuscule way, to the loss of language. Without speaking Polish I can’t really be me.

    Distinguishing between imitation and inspiration can be a bit difficult sometimes: many times I’ve been inspired by a shape or a composition, usually in a painting, and it makes its way into my photo-taking. Imitation? or inspiration?


  8. Thank you for a very interesting post. Your poem is both sad and beautiful and the photo is so dreamy – I can see how sitting in a such a place would be inspirational.


  9. Your thoughts on inspiration are beautifully articulated Paula. That photo of yours is one of my favourites. And thank you for introducing me to Abdulah Sidran’s moving poetry.


  10. gosh – reading those words and then seeing the photo (taken by the most inspiring person to you) so intrinsically moving dear P! and the small town below felt van gogh-ish to me – like the little buildings in starry night….

    “To inspire and to be inspired”


  11. Pingback: Inspiration | Lost in Translation

  12. You know P- I have been following you for a while – and you know I LOVE your blog (ok ok easy on the praise) – but I am just wondering how I missed this last April? Well maybe later I can peek around (or get lost here at “lost in translation- lol) – because i think I have missed a few posts – anyhow – finding this one tonight was rich – such a. Nice flow with your opening photo – ur thoughts – cool poem – pic of you being inspired and the whole vibe! Leaving wth the green from that city in my mind – and like how you expounded on “To inspire and to be inspired –”
    – have a nice day!!!


This box is reserved for sharing positive vibes.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: