Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Writing update - Poetry


image201107290001I have a policy on my review blog, where I also post writing updates of being open and frank about the rejection treadmill.  I record my feelings for posterity but also so that I can go back and examine what it took to get a story/poem to its successful conclusion.  Too often we look at the end product and wonder how the author or poet made it look so easy.  The truth being of course that it’s never that easy.  Joe Halderman’s famous The Forever War received 19 rejections before it was published and there are countless other stories.

Work is keeping me busy but I have found time to pen two poems and submit them in the past couple of weeks. And today decided to kick my arse into gear for a short story prize - The Carmel Bird Award.

So on the poetry front I picked up a rejection from the magazine I sent Bad Ground (my Cthulu-esque/weird poem) to.  They were very kind in their rejection and gave positive feedback, so I am taking the rejection as an indication that I am on the right track and I just need to keep going/refining. 

After taking said poem along to my writing group (after I subbed) who gently teased it apart I was worried that It might get published and it wouldn’t be as good as I can see it becoming.  So, close call there (and what a way to rationalize a rejection).

So how’s your poetry going?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

When did you last read Poetry?

treading-earth I won’t ask when you last bought any because you answer and mine would probably have poets everywhere in fits of despair and generating a thousand maudlin poems.

I must confess, prior to this February, the only poetry I had read recently was by Jennifer Mills, a chap book titled Treading Earth (which I bought) and then it was an initial reading in 2010, followed by isolated dipping in and out of the text since then.  Prior to that it was the late 1990’s, around the time I was studying Elizabethan Literature and 19th Century American Literature courses at University?

And I ask my self why?  Why the long break?  Poems are short.  Easy to read.  You could polish of a collection in a couple of hours.

And therein lies part of the problem at least for me. For the past five years in addition to being a reviewer I have been a consumer of information on a daily basis, scanning pages for keywords, gleaning information.  I haven’t left time for the artful arrangement of words to deliver anything but the information, the gist.

I wonder if this is why poetry is not read by too many who aren’t poets themselves?  Are we too used (those of us that still read) to being immersed by the novel?  Are we perhaps not willing to invest in giving poetry our time? 

Your thoughts?

Love – inspired by a Crapsey Cinquain

shot_1359968847904Originally submitted as part of the Post-it Note Poetry event in February, this was inspired by the form a Crapsey cinquain or a modern American cinquain -five lines following a 1,2,3,4,1 stress pattern.  If you want to further restrict yourself you can try it using iambs, and overlay that with 2,4,6,8,2 syllable pattern. 

You’ll note though that I followed none of those.  The only ties to form are the five lines and the wave like syllable pattern 1, 3, 7, 8, 3. 

This is about as free as my verse gets




A heart made,

hand made thing, of quiet looks,

selfless actions, and needed things,

unasked for

Competitions and self doubt.

sepia I entered a poem in the Kernowek Lowender Literary competition this week. It’s actually the first writing competition I have entered in since 1990 and my first poetry competition.

The theme was Smugglers and Sinners, and there was a 100 line restriction. So I went with A Smuggler’s Reply, learnt more about the national pastime of Cornwall (smuggling) than I thought was possible and created what I think was a reasonably good poem; at least technically.

Prior to entering I couldn’t find any of the past winners poems, so I had no idea whether the competition was traditional poetry, bush poetry, modern free verse or a mix.  It was to be awarded by Max Fatchen, a well known literary personality but he passed away this year. So I am thinking that with his name attached there is a considerable degree of skill involved/expected.

I’m still at that stage where I have no real feel for whether the work is of a good standard.  I am becoming technically more proficient – this poem was written in iambic tetrameter and I feel is perhaps my most polished to date.

I sent off a Speculative Fiction poem last month to a paying market and in hindsight and with comments from my writers group I can see where I could have made it a much better poem.

But in the end I enjoyed writing it and I enjoy reading it which is more than I can say for some of my short fiction of late.

Anyway wish me luck. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

‘Nobody reads poetry anymore…’

PS Cottier asks if anyone reads poetry anymore:

‘Nobody reads poetry anymore…’ | CAPITAL LETTERS:

Your thoughts?  When was the last time you enjoyed some poetry?

Welcome to Words Poetical

So after the fun I had rediscovering poetry during the Post-it note Poetry thing in February I prevaricated over continuing to post poetry on my book review blog and decided a new blog was perhaps the way to go.  So here it is the new blog with one of my poems from the Post it Note Poetry exercise


Summer Squall


A summer squall is rolling in

A subtle draft, a pleasant breeze,

has turned into a broiling thing

of heated words and brimming tears


The pressure builds and peace is rent,

the squall pulls in a thousand thoughts

from petty showers not quite yet spent

and love is lost, as battle's fought.


But like, some old heroic tale

of Gods or Titans locked in war

This summer squall begins to fall;

cool tears, warm limbs, and love once more.


This poem first appeared on Adventures of a Bookonaut

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