no change

It’s Saturday and, as usual, I’ve spent half the day wondering what on earth I’m going to write on the blog.

Not having had any major new insights or flashes of inspiration, let’s continue from last weekend, when I said that I was trying to choose which poems to read at an evening where the theme was change.

I didn’t find it a very easy task and reckoned that it would be much easier for the writers of fiction: even I know enough about plotting to be aware of the common story structure that sees the protagonist undergo a transformation, but that really can’t be applied to poetry.
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changing voice and mood

Next week I’m taking part in an evening of readings and yesterday I received an email reminding me that I needed to supply a biography and also give some idea of genre and tone for the pieces I’ll be reading. The suggestions offered were: “prose/ poetry; fiction/ non-fiction; light/ serious”.

I understand that the running order will probably work better if tragedy isn’t sandwiched between doggerel, but I don’t usually make decisions very far in advance – after all, I might yet write a new piece that is just perfect for the occasion – so just at the moment I have no idea what I’m going to read.
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auguries

I’ve been thinking about the presidential inauguration and wondering if I might be able to work a neat pun into this post. Something based on the prefix in being combined with the root augur – that the inaugural can’t augur well.

But that seems a little contrived, so let’s move swiftly on and talk about poetry.

The last two inauguration ceremonies – and, frankly, the only two I’ve really paid much attention to, presumably because of the live reporting via the internet – have both included poets reading their work; but it turns out poems have featured in only five presidential inaugurations.
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last post before Christmas

I’m fairly sure I won’t write on the blog again before Christmas – though I am quite likely to spend far too much of the day itself on the computer so there may be a post then – which is one reason for the post title. The other reason is that if you haven’t already sent your cards, they probably won’t arrive in time for the 25th unless you get to a post office tomorrow and pay extra for Special Delivery.

Post Office Box lions, Avila
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new year, new thoughts

horses in a field
A few years back, I wrote the post what’s in the poem, where I said that I didn’t like how poets tend to use an explanatory “blurb” between pieces at readings to tell the audience how they should understand the poem rather than giving listeners the chance to respond for themselves.

This week, though, I attended a poetry reading by Michael Hulse and saw just how well that inter-poem blurb can be used.
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night noises

The last few posts have been fairly rural – which is reasonable given where I am at the moment. But to carry on from yesterday’s insomnia, I’ve dug out this older, rather more urban piece:

night shades

Sounds rise through plaster, wood and dust; they twist
between the ceiling joists, and round ceramic tiles to twine
with moonlight, drifting, woven in dreams, until
they filter into consciousness. Then,

there are no more dreams:

the sounds contract
to words as hard
and tight as fists that punch
into the sobbing night.

I hear the darkness
catch its breath
and a banshee wail
drags the dawn
closer.

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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”.
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