just hanging around

Levis 501s faded jeans hanging on  washing line

Just hanging around, posting fairly regular updates but making no particular effort to get noticed, I find I now have 501 blog followers.

Thank you, not only to those who follow, but also to those who just drop by occasionally to read, comment or enjoy the view.

flying visits

This isn’t the busiest blog in the world, and I don’t suppose it will ever have a huge audience, but WordPress send me notifications of new followers and likes, and it’s always nice to think that a post has appealed to readers, even if it’s impossible to know exactly why.

I check the stats page to see if I can find out a little more about who is reading and clicking, but this often poses more questions than it answers. I happened to look just after midnight the other night, just after the numbers had been reset, and this is what I found:

blog visits & views stats
Dear visitor, whoever you are, can you tell me how you managed to travel half way round the world in a matter of minutes and why you read six pages of my blog from three different countries?

what’s not to like?

In a recent email, a friend said he’d “been enjoying” the recent posts on the blog. “But you haven’t liked them!” I retorted. Of course that raised the subject of what the like button signifies to each of us and why some of the posts here are more popular than others.

orange nasturtiums
Which also raises the question of what blogs are for – especially this one – and whether I should be deliberately posting things that I think will generate more followers and likes.
Continue reading “what’s not to like?”

the fear of the word

I started to write about the results of the Mslexia poetry survey yesterday, but ended up going off at a bit of a tangent.

I’d stumbled across a news item on the Poetry Book Society website which referred to the survey under the eye-catching headline “Mslexia Poetry Phobia Report”, and was immediately distracted (yes, my life is full of tangents and distractions) by the phrase “a condition known as metrophobia”.
Continue reading “the fear of the word”

‘genderally’ speaking

I mentioned two survey questions last week, which asked about reasons for reading and reasons for writing poetry. At the time, I didn’t say who was carrying out the survey, as I wasn’t sure it was relevant. But what is a survey without results? And now the results have been published, and they raise further points for discussion.

So I’d better go ahead and say that the survey was sent out by Mslexia, which is published with the tagline “the magazine for women who write”.
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motivation II

The survey I mentioned yesterday also had a question that asked “What is most likely to motivate you to READ a poem?” It gave the following list of possible reasons, from which you were allowed to choose up to three:

reasons for reading a poem

Continue reading “motivation II”

of shoe-cleaning and elephants

elephants' ears leaves

I’ve been back in the DCTN archives discussing narrators – first person and third person – and what’s ‘real’ in my poetry, and have just written that the inspiration for a poem is almost certainly something in my life, but it isn’t necessarily something real that actually happened to me.

The trigger may be a personal experience, or it may be something I read or overhear, or something from today that I connect through to something half remembered from the past etc. I then take that kernel of an idea and extrapolate it and link it with other images and ideas to create a poem. The same trigger can inspire different poems in different styles or forms and with different protagonists, and the information that fleshes it out may come from personal experience, research or imagination.
Continue reading “of shoe-cleaning and elephants”