Wednesday, 20 February 2013

My first collection of some older poetry.

I have pulled together some poetry from the 60's and 70's and published it as my first collection on Scribd. It is available for free download on that site.

Mechanical Poetry to overcome writer's block

Yes I am still suffering from this infliction.

I have found another web-site which offers help for poets suffering in this way. OK, so we have all seen many sites which offer prompts galore - does this help? I have even posted prompts and sources in previous posts but I am not sure it has been helping me that much. As I said, I am getting ideas to work on but it's carrying them through to more than fragments -to a complete poem.

Now that is patently silly because even a Haiku is a complete poem, so what do I mean? I am not expanding the ideas to longer poems I guess and this is bothering me. But hold on, before carrying on let me share a few more Haiku.

Wind chill factor high
The Beast from the East arrives
red warning of snow

(note: a red warning from the met office is issued when dangerous levels of snow are forecast)

Ignored totally
morning, get up, go to work
back home, silence reigns

Newspaper healines
full of bad news to annoy
answer, don't buy them

Newspaper headlines
designed to sell more copies
create frustration

Nespaper headlines
can they ever be believed
read between the lines

(what makes you think it was a good day for the newspapers)

Now, back to the main theme of the post. I have found a web-site which describes a creativity game for writing poems. I have been working on something similar for creatiing abstract art and so was attracted to it. The site, "Dial-a-Poem", also describes one or two ideas for writing poetry which it describes as mechanical poetry. I shall be trying out these ideas, hopefully more helpful than working to simple prompts.

watch this space I will let you know how I get on.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Descriptive prompts for poetry

It has been a quiet week for me this week, so I searched for creative writing prompts and found these on Creative Writing Now. A short list of descriptive prompts follows:-

1) the first signs of spring

2) your house late at night

3) someone who annoys you

4) what it's like to be under water

5) the classroom of a school you attended

6) a pet or another animal you've had the chance to observe

7) a doctor's waiting room

8) a monster you imagined when you were a child

9) the way a particular person snores

10) the view from the top of a tree.

A second topic this week is the idea of writing across lines. Yes, I know it is quite legitimate but I have been reading one or two well-respected poetry magazines (including The Poetry Review). I am appalled at the random way in which many so-called poets simply break up the lines of the poems.
I have two reasons, the first is that I really believe that to enjoy a poem it has to scan, have rythm and have some discernable structure. Otherwise, why not call it prose and write it as such. Does calling it poetry confer some imagined kudos?
The second reason is that I like to be able to read a poem without studying it first. If I have to read a poem several times before I can understand it, then I lose interest. Am I lazy? I don't think so, I read constantly. I read a wide range of subject matter from many sources but "modern" poetry is not something I enjoy. Much of it is like abstract painting of the kind perpetrated by the conceptual school of art. In my opinion, and I stand by it, it is utter rubbish.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

And still the Haiku come forth

Just read the haiku from the last post and decided to alter the last one in that post. It was originally:-

Winter night comes early
Cloaking day's end silently
Until tomorrow
But upon reflection that second line simply sounds wrong, I have re-written it thus:-

Winter night comes early,
Silently cloaking day's end.
Until tomorrow.
Does it make a lot of difference? I would argue that it is the little things which make a difference, perhaps you agree, perhaps you don't, but it is my poem.
And by the way, this is a new pastel painting from my own fair hand, except for a little post processing from photoshop. You can see it and an explanation of how it was completed on my blog, painting with John. I will be creating a series of Zazzle products with the resulting images, find them soon in my Zazzle store

So, advertisement break over, here are a couple of new Haiku.

Sixteen wheelers rushed
drove down the road before me
hurtling far too fast

Driving in convoy
too close to one another
there's trouble ahead

As you might imagine, these were written after seeing too many lorries from the local factory rushing down our road in the morning rush hour. Not typical Haiku material, am I cheating and just creating fragments of poems, which I am trying to get away from. perhaps I should play safe and stick to nature and natural subjects?

Friday, 1 February 2013

Still writing Haiku as a way forward

Don't know if this is working, but at least I am not left with what to me seem like fragments of poems. The first stanza or a few lines, and then running into a case of writers block. Time after time after time. With the Haiku, without wishing to claim anything for them, I am able to feel that I have a complete piece. The discipline of the 5-7-5 syllable count is also making me work a little at the words I am using.
It can only be good practice, and heaven knows I need it. So what of this weeks batch. Again I leave them untitled - is this usual? Must take another look at some of the Haiku related sites.

Winter, think sunny
Think warm foreign beaches
Winter, bearable


Rain everlasting
Spring, summer, Autumn, Winter
Earth needs space to dry


Rain on rain on rain
Falls on saturated ground
Flooding now certain


The setting sun dies
Ending of another day
Sleep, refresh, renew.


Winter night comes early
Cloaking day's end silently
Until tomorrow

Well, what do you think? Is there any merit in these short pieces. I will be carrying on with this game in the hope that it will bring about an end to this current period of writer's block. And if it doesn't? - well then I shall have to think of something else to try.