Good evening, dear readers! It’s March, just about – is it just me, or is time moving very fast this year? (Sorry February post, I tried but I’ve been busy). This term I’ve still been doing flash fiction/ short stories in my Horror/ SF/ Fantasy module, but poetry has been taking up most of my head-space.
I still find poetry difficult to write because of the “anything can be poetry” argument. I still manage to feel out of my depth , despite my practise in first year. In last year’s poetry module, I will admit I didn’t take too many risks: I had some original pieces in my portfolio, but a lot of my work on the module consisted of parodies of/ responses to works we had read in class. It allowed me to play it fairly safe in terms of rhyme schemes and structure while having fun with twisting an existing work into something new.
I’m all for intertextuality – it’s interesting! – but this year I’ve tried to be original as possible, and otherwise taking concepts and ideas from other poems rather than writing X poem out and changing some of the words to make it fit Y theme. I’ve still slipped up a few times; I wrote one in response to José Olivarez’s February & my love is in another state where I changed it into a poem about someone missing Olivarez and walking through a parody of the other poem. We’ve had some great guest speakers this module, including Nisha Ramayya who brought along loads of great material that I’ll be using for a long while. I can heartily recommend her new(ish) collection, States of the Body Produced by Love.
One prompt I’ve had a lot of fun with is “product placement” poetry. We got given examples from some recent adverts, where some poets had written/ performed poems for different companies. I’m not going to judge people for “selling out” by doing this or anything; everyone’s got to earn their money somehow, right? Regardless, I decided to have a bit of silly fun with it and write a poem that was entirely at odds with its product placement. Unfortunately I’m eyeing for my portfolio, so I won’t be able to share it here in case of accidental self-plagiarism. I will hopefully be trying a few more soon though, and they’ll be better suited to posting here than submitting for competitions/ publishing because…trademarks.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted some creative writing on here; the lack of evening class has meant I’ve had nothing much to force me to write outside of my course (aside from a few bits of story planning/ poetry here and there). Therefore, I’ll leave you with a first draft from a lecture. The prompt was based off some Old English poems we’d read that were spells for various common issues (getting a stitch, stomach aches etc.) and we had to write a spell or poem about a common modern problem:
That’s the ticket
A thousand warriors descend from heaven
The holiest from highest peaks
Find your place to rest, sang angels
For tomorrow they’ll hear Him speak
The town awoke to joyous rapture
That soon turned to sonorous sorrow
As the warrior’s voices screamed and bellowed
For everywhere was double-yellowed