moving experiences I

It’s a while since I posted any poetry, so, since I’m in the process of moving things from the city to the village, this seems appropriate:


The rip and fart of parcel tape; the tangle,
stick and cuss; the smell of dust,
mothballs and corrugated cardboard.
Drugstore detergent cartons
stuffed and trussed
and stacked in the spare room.
Both cats in heat and looking
for a mate, a nest, a fond caress…
They play at pigs in pokes, scrabble,
scratch and snag at boxes, plastic bags
and bundles, wail and waul.

When finally I move, I’ll leave
fixtures and fittings
and two grown kittens.

Continue reading “moving experiences I”

narrators and writers

Re-reading Dorothy L. Sayers’ The Nine Tailors, I was taken by the comments about objectivity in writing in this conversation between Lord Peter Wimsey and 15-year-old Miss Hilary Thorpe.

It’s just after Easter. Hilary’s mother died at New Year and now an unidentified corpse has been found in the grave which was being prepared for her father who has just died.

“[…] You and Dad would have got on splendidly. Oh, by the way – you know where Dad and Mother are buried, don’t you? I expect that was the first place you looked at.”
“Well, It was; but I’d rather like to look at it again. You see, I’m wondering just exactly how the- the–”
“How they got the body there? Yes, I thought you’d be wondering that. I’ve been wondering, too. Uncle doesn’t think it’s nice of me to wonder anything of the sort. But it really makes things easier to do a little wondering, I mean, if you’re once interested in a thing it makes it seem less real. That’s not the right word, though.”
“Less personal?” Continue reading “narrators and writers”

voices of poetry

I recently acquired a copy of Eliot’s lecture entitled The Three Voices of Poetry. It was a serendipitous acquisition, as it ties in closely to my interest in the dichotomy of writer and narrator.

Although the title refers to three voices, Eliot actually starts off by stating, “There may be four voices. There may be, perhaps, only two.” He then explains that the three voices referred to are:
Continue reading “voices of poetry”

from poem to picture book

Any author will tell you that the process which results in a book reaching the bookshop shelves is long and, at times, tortuous.

My own experience makes it five and a half years from the original poem being written to its appearance this month as Bubbles, a bilingual children’s picture book, now available from Topka.

from poem to picture book
from poem to picture book

Continue reading “from poem to picture book”

the narrator in poetry II

As I said before, one problem when you write first person poetry is that people tend to think of it being personal.

I suppose it is for some writers. Certainly one friend told me that he was the narrator in all his poems, and that all his poetry was based on personal experience. He has several collections to his name and we aren’t talking about adolescent angst or “diary entry” poems, so it’s a technique that clearly works for him.

Of course, one of the first things that we are told to do to make our writing realistic is “write about what you know.” Continue reading “the narrator in poetry II”

the narrator in poetry I

As may be apparent from the blog title – and even moreso if you have read the about this blog page – the subject of the narrator is one I feel quite strongly about.

I write a lot of first person poetry and creative non-fiction. I also believe that real life can provide raw material for my writing.

However, despite what many people think, this doesn’t mean that I write about my life.
Continue reading “the narrator in poetry I”