Inspiration: A Poem for Byzantium

Inspiration is a wondrous thing. It can be a picture, a sentence, a thought – and all of a sudden you sit by your computer again, working hard to finish your manuscript after hours of writer’s block. This happened a week ago. I was revising Project 1 when I just couldn’t rewrite anything any more. I opened Spotify and played a list I hadn’t heard a long time. Then it came – my inspiration. For the next two hours I didn’t do anything but write away madly.

The song playing was A Poem for Byzantium by Delerium. Not only is the song in itself tranquilizing, and almost magical, but the lyrics are gold and well worth reading. (Spotify link to the song here.)

Unbidden shadows of you formed yesterday
I ran away to a room here on the bay
Interrupted life again, another new beginning
Where the silence echoes you’re no longer with me

Here and now, I feel that I’m embracing freedom
Even though I may be alone, but that’s ok

Through the darkness I would walk in the streets
Confessions never seemed to provide me with a release
Held me down and tried to cure me tried to give me reason
But nothing could separate this burdened mind from me

Here and now, I feel that I’m embracing freedom
Even though I may be alone, but that’s ok
And looking out to a different sky will disengage me
Absence is never the answer, I know, but it serves as my shade

I do not seek and do not intend to find
A calmer ocean or a sun that will never rise
My world will never change and time will bring you to my thoughts
And I’ll move on and then forget you all over again
Moving on, I can forgive you all over again

Here and now, I feel that I’m embracing freedom
Even though I may be alone, but that’s ok
And looking out onto a different sky it seems so easy
Absence is never the answer, I know, but it serves as my shade

 – F H Hakansson

5 thoughts on “Inspiration: A Poem for Byzantium

  1. Really love how you conveyed the emotion of absence here and how the loss has affected said character.

    This was my favorite stanza:

    “I do not seek and do not intend to find
    A calmer ocean or a sun that will never rise
    My world will never change and time will bring you to my thoughts
    And I’ll move on and then forget you all over again
    Moving on, I can forgive you all over again”

      1. Yes, it’s the lyrics, though I really wish I wrote it. They are, as you say, beautiful and the absence (and loss of affection) is very apparent. Did you listen to the song? It always gets me in a gloomy, yet serene, mood perfect for writing.

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