I've been writing a lot of poetry lately and I've noticed that there's a big difference between inspiration and theme. By this I mean: you can get inspired by something, say the sight of the sun on a lake, but when you write the poem about the sun on the lake, the theme that comes out will almost certainly be something different than what you expected or felt when you got hit with inspiration.
It's not always that way, but it's often that way. What's more, it seems as though the best poems are those that start from a point of inspiration but travel somewhere new, somewhere previously unknown. This may, in fact, be one of the reasons that what we call "inspiration" feels so thrilling, because we instinctively know we're about to travel somewhere new.
For me it's much more vital to follow inspiration than theme. If I start out thinking "I'll write a poem about how bad war is..." The results are usually blah. If I start off thinking, "Wow, the way that tree-shadow looks on the street is cool..." I often get good poems.
I'm sure some poets are theme-first and there's nothing wrong with that. For these poets, theme is inspiration.
But I maintain it's not always necessary to know your theme, and, even if you think you do, it's very likely others will see something different. So don't get too attached to your themes.
The opposite goes for your inspiration. Stay as attached as you can!!!
Poems Written: 302
Rejections: 17 (10 tiered)
Poem written today: "Off-Task"