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”

e-phemera

While designing course content recently, I’ve been looking at some of the implications of email and blogging. One thing that particularly strikes me is the lack of realisation among most people that what is written on-line is automatically archived long term, perhaps even permanently.

I’ve been posting to usenet news groups for nearly ten years now, and one of my initial concerns was the fact that my thoughts and ideas could appear on millions of screens around the world. Fortunately, that thought bothered me a lot, Continue reading “e-phemera”

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”

on translating poetry

I’ve been thinking again about translating poetry, partly because it’s a pet subject of mine, and partly because I’m hoping to run a course on the subject next year and have been preparing the course spec.

One of the recurring questions is “when does a translation cease to be a translation and become a derivative work?”.
Continue reading “on translating poetry”

words on a screen

Last week, Kristin Scott-Thomas appeared in a short video on the BBC website talking about her new film, I’ve Loved You So Long.

The film is in French, and the subject of subtitles was discussed:

Interviewer: …audiences in the English-speaking world have in the past tended to shun films with subtitles.
Kristin: Apparently this is changing: I’ve heard that people are less and less resistant to this simply because we’ve all got so used to text messages, visual messages everywhere, Continue reading “words on a screen”

the cps generation

According to Wikipedia – and, yes, I realise just how limited that authority is – the Information Age is a term used to refer to the present era which has come into use due to “the global economy’s shift in focus away from the production of physical goods […] and towards the manipulation of information.”

Information - but do we process it or just pass it on?
Information - but do we process it or just pass it on?

 
I would suggest, though, that although we live in the Information Age, the current generation don’t process the information they have access to, they simply pass it on.

I found a link to a video in my inbox the other day from a writer friend, together with an exasperated exclamation that someone was “using his idea”. He knows as well as I do that there’s no copyright in ideas, but the exasperation was real enough.
Continue reading “the cps generation”

the ethics of endings

In tune with all the Harry Potter hype, I’ve been reading articles, blogs and opinions about the final book. One piece which caught my attention was: So, Does Harry Potter Live?, an article which has the sub head: “Giving away the secret at the end of the last book in Rowling’s series—whether downloaded or bought legally—betrays both author and audience.

The writer, Weinstein, is a “Corporate Ethics Consultant”, whatever that might be. Sadly, I think he probably isn’t much of a reader or film-goer.

Continue reading “the ethics of endings”