Last Bank Holiday weekend, I posted Spring lamb with floral trimmings, which included a poem I’ve had in my files for a long time under the title Easter Edition. I’ve always thought it was a weak title but hadn’t come up with anything better. Now I’m wondering whether using the post title, or something similar, such as Lamb with apple-blossom garnish, would be a good idea, or whether it would just be gimmicky.

Tiger moth (insect)
eye-catching, engaging, appealing… qualities of a good title
This got me thinking of poem titles in general. Rather than write a whole new piece on the subject, I’ve adapted the following from Making titles count, a piece I wrote recently for my poetry column in The Woman Writer, the magazine of the SWWJ:
Continue reading “entitled”

pockets & bonnets

pink aquilegia flower

Among the papers I was sorting last week, there were poems and fragments of poetry I had lost sight of. There were also titles.

Sometimes, like Wendy Cope and her Making Cocoa for Kinglsey Amis, you know that a phrase deserves to be recorded. You don’t know if it will be a line in a poem or a title, but it strikes a chord of some sort. I walked around with the phrase “the inevitability of dragons” in my head for years before I found the poem it belonged in and I still hope to use it as the title for a collection one day.

One of the phrases I (re-)found last week was “On the topology of pockets.” I’m sure it’s the title of a poem, but that poem remains unwritten. When I tried, it morphed into something else entirely.
Continue reading “pockets & bonnets”

en route

On a walk the other night, I came across this sign:

Kenilworth Greenway -  a permissisve bridleway with kissing gates
Bridleway marker with summer hat

I rather like the idea of a “permissive bridleway”, but I like it even more knowing that it has kissing gates installed along its route.

As the seond photo shows, the path also has way markers that hang out on the verge [sic] dressed in their glad rags.

I think perhaps I should be writing a poem entitled In summer, the permissive bridleway puts on its finery, but I fear that would be the high point of the piece and I would be unable to do it justice.

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.)
Continue reading “the name game”

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