And so a package of Poet Tarot Cards arrived today by mail. I opened them and carefully inspected them. There were 30 poets - fifteen male and fifteen female. In addition there were 4 sets of suits. Letterpresses, Muses, Mentors and Quills. Understand I've never held any kind of Tarot cards in my hand. I never participated in a Tarot card reading. Yes, today I was a Tarot card virgin.
The cards are quite impressive. Clearly a lot of work has gone into them. Not only the cards but the accompanying Poet Tarot Guidebook.
I've had a keen interest in them since I first learned of them. Perhaps because I have over the past few years turned to my dead poet mentor Anne Sexton on occasion when stuck or just seeking different direction in a specific poetry project of individual piece of work. The idea therefor did not seem so outlandish. I'm a firm believer that poets can learn from other poets both alive and dead.
After reading through the guidebook, I shuffled the cards quite a few times. They felt crisp and new, but of course they were.The deck seemed heavy for the size. This sort of reinforced the thought that there was something of substance in these cards.
I decided to to draw a card to stay with be through the rest of the week. I could draw daily but I wanted to start with a card that I world give plenty of opportunity to speak to me.
When I drew, I drew a poet card (there are fewer of them in the deck then suits) and held in my had Robert Frost, the Kind of Muses. It's not a card I would have selected on my own, but that's the beauty of this, you can learn to accept inspiration from places you would not choose on your own. If we always do what we want, if we don't move beyond our own choices, how can we expect our creativity to grow. Our work can become stale.
I figure to start with Frost is going to teach me a lesson in discipline and patience since we will be chums till I draw a new card on Sunday.
From the guidebook I begin to see Frost as balanced between intellect and emotion. A calm and nurturing soul. I ask myself do I write more with my head or whit my heart? Is one better? Can I combine and these and what would that look like? What about writing with form? I don't do this often. I feel Frost nudging me to try forms again. I don't have to abandon free verse, but it won't hurt to push myself into it again and see what I think.
Okay Robert, I'm listening now.
Note: the Poet Tarot Cards are produced by Two Sylvias Press