You can tell National Poetry Month and springtime have arrived when flowers run riot and demand respect in rhyme. Wait… you’re not a poet? It’s not too late: follow this guide to creative getaways with poetic inspiration, and show Shakespeare how it’s done.
Cities from Tucson to Capetown have a neighborhood helpfully named Poet’s Corner, which seems like the obvious place to start. Poet’s Square in Budva, Montenegro has the added benefit of being near the sea, giving you the opportunity to work on your tan while penning your sequel to the Odyssey.
Watching the moon at midnight
solitary, mid-sky, I knew myself completely,
no part left out.
Go ahead and pursue your muse around the world. When you get back, you’ll find inspiration patiently waiting for you on a dusty shelf, between the covers of a book.
More than bathrooms stocked with miniature shampoo bottles, a well-stacked bookshelf earns the highest praise on Airbnb. To see what all the raves are about, check out these bookish hotspots. If exceptionally literary Edinburgh, Scotland is too far away for a quick getaway, reading nooks with minimal distractions await just beyond city limits in New York’s Hudson Valley, on Vancouver Island in British Colombia, or outside Copenhagen on Denmark’s aptly named Jutland peninsula.
Walden Pond has been a wellspring of poetic inspiration ever since Emerson and Thoreau searched these shores for the right words. Today it’s just off the turnpike between Boston and Concord, but the neighbors would probably appreciate it if you didn’t follow Thoreau’s example too literally:
“I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.”
Poetry may come to you in a dream, but sometimes it needs a nudge. According to Airbnb reviews, bedrooms with brisk sea breezes and/or poems inscribed over the bed can improve the odds of awakening inspired. Choose a dorm room named for your favorite poet in Seoul to increase your chance of rubbing elbows with kindred artistic spirits before breakfast.
If drifting off in decadent splendor is more your style, there’s a Bohemian villa in Romania, or a penthouse in Buenos Aires’ grand Poetry Building. In Istanbul, they grant you poetic license to stay in bed until noon. If anyone asks, just quote Turkish poet Orhan Veli Kanik:
I am listening to Istanbul
my eyes closed.
You’re inspired, you’re well read, you’re rested, and you’ve run out of excuses – now it’s time to write. But where? For locations road-tested by writers, try the dedicated writer’s loft in London, the sunny resident poet’s desk in Berlin, or John Steinbeck’s Writer’s Studio in Pacific Grove. If you’re easily distractible, choose a more remote location: maybe a treehouse in Savannah or a converted schoolhouse meditation center in the Korean countryside.
But poetry can find you even where you’re not looking for it—including in an old windmill in Sicily. In the floor, the owners uncovered a stone carved by a lovestruck miller centuries ago saying:
Like a leaf plucked from a green tree by the wind
you have come before me and taken my heart
that’s how love is.
Poetry works the same way.