Are poets born, taught or both?

This post is inspired by the poem “The Poet And His Songs” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and it goes like this:MTE5NDg0MDU1MDQ0NTg5MDcx

As the birds come in the Spring,
We know not from where;
As the stars come at evening
From depths of the air;

As the rain comes from the cloud,
And the brook from the ground;
As suddenly, low or loud,
Out of silence a sound;

As the grape comes to the vine,
The fruit to the tree;
As the wind comes to the pine,
And the tide to the sea;

As come the white sails of ships
O’er the ocean’s verge;
As comes the smile to the lips;
The foam to the surge;

So comes to the Poet his songs,
All hitherward blown
From the misty land, that belongs
To the vast Unknown.

His, and not his, are the lays
He sings; – and their fame
Is his, and not his; – and the praise
And the pride of a name.

For voices pursue him by day,
And haunt him by night,
And he listens, and needs must obey,
When the Angel says: Write!

and it left me wondering: are we born writers and poets with innately need to write and create or is it something we discover with time and then put effort and energy into it in order to develop better writing skills? I mean, we all can work to improve our abilities in any area, but are we born with notion that writing is supposed to be our life calling (or any other profession, for that matter)? Do you simply “know” that you must write in order to be yourself, to express your true nature? As Longfellow says “so comes to the Poet his songs…from the misty land…to the vast Unknown”.

For me, some sort of writing was always present. During my career it evolved into scientific writing, yet the most natural way for me to write is in the form of poem – and it showed early in my childhood.

As Marina Abramovic likes to say:

 For me, art is like breathing. You don’t question if you breathe, you have to breathe. So if you wake up in the morning and you have to realize an idea, and there’s another idea, and another, maybe you are really an artist. It doesn’t make you a great artist, it just makes you an artist. To become a great artist is a huge undertaking! So it’s really important, that instinct. You need the instinct to do it”.

There is no doubt that further developing skills requiers hard work – to move from ordinary to extraordinary. But do we need that “special thing” to carry inside in order to go beyond the average crowd? What are your thoughts, please share in the comments bellow.


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