poems & pomegranates


It’s been a while since I talked on the blog about the narrator/writer dichotomy, but it’s still a subject that interests me.

Recently, I started writing a column for The Woman Writer (the magazine of the SWWJ – the Society of Women Writers and Journalists). In the article “I”: an invitation to poetry, published in the April issue, I talked about how first-person, present-tense poetry can encourage the reader to empathise and participate rather than simply observe.

Although it’s not a long article, it brings together a number of my thoughts on the subject, so I’ll include it in its entirety here:
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me, myself and I

Following on from the post I made earlier about first person dreams and narrators in poetry, I just came across an article in the Guardian with the headline: Christopher Walken: ‘No matter who I play, it’s me’.

Apparently, this was his reaction when asked if he’s playing slight variations on himself every time he makes a film:

“In one way, yes. No matter what character I’m playing, it’s me. I’m the only person in my life that I can refer to. I have a wife, I have friends, but it’s essentially me. There are actors who can transform themselves, famously so, but I’m not one of them. There’s a crucial difference between an actor and a performer. I’m essentially a performer. That’s where I came from. That’s what I know. That’s what I do.”

I’m not 100% sure how that ties in with the points I was making, but I do think it must be relevant.

first person dreaming

Cat apocalypse collage
This morning I woke with a scene from a dream still vivid in my mind: in some kind of apocalyptic sci-fi/thriller setting, with explosions and dangerous pursuers (yes, I watch too much TV) I’d managed to do some neat programming trick and someone had asked me, “How did you know that? Were you brought up with technology?”

In response, I’d launched into a description of when and where I had learned about computers etc.
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the name game

Yesterday I was working on a poem inspired by something I was told ages ago, which had re-surfaced in a conversation earlier in the week.

So far all I have is this:

Vanessa says,

I’ve heard tectonic plates move
at the same speed fingernails grow.

A flourish of bright acrylic tips
adds emphasis, and then: I like to think
it indicates a kind of synchronicity –
shows we’re in touch with Nature.

Although it hasn’t got to where I want it to be – which would be at least three times as long and with something actually happening in there – I was wondering what to call it. (In my own filing system it’s down as ‘tectonic nails’, but although that may help me keep track of it, I don’t think it will do for a title.)
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