Creativity is extremely important throughout “The Bat Poet,” as it forms the story’s central theme. The protagonist, a little brown bat, is always interested in having different experiences and seeing things in new ways. His intense curiosity is the source of his inspiration to create things that do not interest his fellow bats. This desire to try new things ultimately inspires him to become a poet.
His first deep self-questioning comes from hearing the mockingbird, which encourages him to think that he, too, could make up songs. The difficulty he experiences in getting the tune right do not discourage him for long, as he decides that the sound and arrangement of the words is just as important as a tune.
When the little brown bat initially tries staying awake during the day, which the other bats do not understand. He also appreciates the deep sound that the mockingbird produces, while the others appreciate only their own high-pitched sounds. The more he listens to the mockingbird, the more curious he becomes.
[O]ne day he thought, “I could make up a song like the mockingbird’s.”
Although he tries to hit the right notes, he finds it impossible. The mockingbird’s words, however, are within his reach. This ability to adapt a process to one’s own talents is a core aspect of creativity. When he manages to make the words go together in a way that sounds beautiful, he makes a significant discovery.
[T]he bat said to himself, “If you get the words right you don’t need a tune.”
The other bats are more puzzled than understanding, and despite their efforts to be kind, he is often discouraged. Persevering on his own path is another important aspect of creativity. For a long while, the bat thinks that what matters is making the poem suited to the audience that will listen to it. When he finally writes a poem that expresses what bats are like, he finds that writing it has helped him find his place amongst his fellow bats.