I’ve already mentioned here that I was invited to take part in TEDx Leamington Spa last November, not as a speaker, but as a performer. There were just over a dozen speakers, and several other performers, each with their own take on the theme of “home”.
Before the event, I attended meet-ups and rehearsals and scribbled notes about all the different presentations, trying to make sense of a huge and very daunting task. During this time, I produced a couple of poems – including “fade to blue” and “information overload“, which can be read by clicking through to earlier blog posts – that I didn’t use on the day.
Continue reading “thoughts of home”
Once more, I am choosing poems to read at an event.
It’s a themed event and the theme is “love”, so, once more, I am choosing love poems to read at an event.
And, once more, I am pondering the idea that “all poetry is love poetry”.
The difficulty in choosing what to read is not that I don’t have any love poetry in my files; it’s more that I have far too much of the stuff and a very limited time slot at the event tomorrow.
Continue reading “love again”
The sunrise streets
are hammered gold
while mundane city bylaws
with transient enlightenment
Not for the first time, I am reminded that much of my poetry is centred on the visual and heavily influenced by the quality of light.
Continue reading “illuminating moments”
Camera in hand
she walks the beach, pauses,
leans agains palm trees,
clambers over breakwaters,
climbs on railings and balances
on benches along the promenade, trying
to get an angle on the sunrise.
Continue reading “angles”
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post inspired by the words “poems are hard”, which appeared on a local pub chalkboard. It’s not just the poems themselves that are hard, though: it’s even hard to get people to agree on what poetry is.
Some people think that poetry should deal with the big issues of Life, Love and Death, others that it should be all kittens and flowers, sweetness and light; some think it should make us look at familiar things and occurrences as if they were new; others that it should make the personal universal; some think it should have structure and be carefully crafted, others that it should rhyme, others that it should be written “from the heart” and therefore anything goes.
Continue reading “not nice”
The guy at the pub is right: poems are hard.
Sometimes you have a great idea – the tiny bit of grit with potential to grow into a beautiful pearl – but however much you turn and tweak and worry it, it seems to refuse to gather form and realise its potential.
When this happens, all you can do is put the notes to one side and let your subconscious go on working while you get on and do other things.
Continue reading “creative grit”
Novice poets are frequently warned about clichés; sometimes, though, it’s hard to know exactly what the people doing the warning have in mind. Is a cliché the same as an idiom? Is it just a common collocation of words? Can a single word be a cliché?
(In answer to that last question, I’ve posted several times in the past on the subject of “forbidden words” in poetry.)
The thing about clichés is that they mean the writer hasn’t done more than scratch the surface. And for poetry that matters a lot more than for some other types of writing.
Continue reading “clichés and coincidences”