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World Poetry Day #2

Yesterday was World Poetry Day and to celebrate I shared one of my poems and said that I would write another. I am writing ‘After Poems’ where I take the theme and structure of a poem I admire and write my own homage to it.

In the end I chose the poem ‘A Chagall Postcard‘ by Peter Porter. I really like his poetry, and of all of the poets that I read a lot of I think my style is naturally most like his. Far less developed but closer than I am to anyone else. He used punctuation and word-play in a similar way to what I try to do. I have also had a major art-crush on Chagall for a very long time. I love all of his work but especially his windows. When I was in Chicago my top priority was getting to see the large mural of his in the centre of town.

So this is what I came up with yesterday as a nod to World Poetry Day, Chagall and Peter Porter.

“The Cry Ascends”

From ‘A Chagall Postcard’ by Peter Porter

Is this truth all that we can have,
The dark palette, the harsh music,
Tucked away in hidden corners,
The circling crows?

Celebrate in nature’s night time,
The changes creep through to be seen,
The painted noise we hide behind,
Left to the cold.

Day and night twist the morning dawn,
The light shines so we cannot touch,
Break the bonds to see promised flaws,
False smiles all around.

I was trying to take inspiration from both the poem and also the painting (it could be several of Chagall’s works but I think I narrowed it down). The idea of useful and the useless and how people interpret that as well as the image of the shrouded bride and one line that I loved from Porter’s poem “Proud lovers end as pallid friends” really stuck with me. I wanted to use ideas of light and dark, shadow and shade both to reinforce the image of a hidden side to the bride and unmentioned groom as well as nod to the art of painting as well. I took the natural and musical elements of the poem and made them more general and then focused into the bride as a person rather than a concept.

I think it needs more work but I always feel that, anyways a poem for World Poetry Day!



World Poetry Day #1

Happy World Poetry Day!

If you are new here (hello) you may not know how much I love poetry. Reading it and writing it. One of my favourite things in the world. I adore ideas like World Poetry Day, they make seem a bit odd to some but I think the UNESCO reason for highlighting poetry is valid, poetry engages and makes us think of emotion over politics (how apt today!) and merely the everyday routine. I think that’s worth celebrating.

After I finished my Three Random Words poetry project (and there will be a mini update on that in the next couple of weeks) I spent a good month or so trying to decide what I wanted to work on next. One of my favourite things to do with poetry is find new types of inspiration – such as asking people to give me words to start me off. I toyed with a few ideas, such as writing a poem a day based on an event from history that had happened on that day. In the end I wanted something that would allow me to do some free ideas as well in between.

I chose to write a series of ‘After Poems’ which is not a new idea but something I have wanted to do for a little while. The idea of poems written after another is to take inspiration from a poet you admire and write your own take. My After Poems all keep the same structure as the original poem as well as maintaining the themes they are using. I’ve only written twelve of them so far, it’s quite hard to choose what to write and then I spend a long time looking at the meaning behind the poem. Strangely however, my favourite so far has been one that I chose, researched and wrote in an hour and a half. I don’t keep rhymes in the poems but most of the rest stays.

Today I am going to try and write another, maybe several and I’ll post them here either later on today or tomorrow morning (depending how late I am writing them!). I’ll post one of the ones I have already written in here.

The poem I’ve included here is taken from one of the Crow poems by Ted Hughes which came about because I asked my Twitter friends what their favourite poems/poets were and Damien Walter suggested these. From Crow I chose ‘That Moment‘ because of the interesting structure and also because it has always been a favourite of mine as well. I took the themes of slaughter and loss and took them down from the total destruction that Hughes talks about and made it much more personal, looking at how the loss of one person can be as devastating as many deaths to the people who loved them. I also took Hughes’ idea of looking at both the event and the aftermath during the poem.

My hope is that the poem would work completely as a stand alone but would also have more power and a greater sense of connection and meaning when read alongside Ted Hughes’, far superior piece of work. I hope that ‘The Only Face Left’ shows, if nothing else, how much I admire Hughes’ poetry.

“The Only Face Left”

From ‘That Moment’ by Ted Hughes.

I stare down the barrel towards his masked face
and dial your number
At the end of my life I don’t want to hate

You are the person, your voice I hear
if I can’t
breathe, our silent conversation broken

And I never did call you
And you never did hear me

The killer won’t wait for my regret
as my life is taken
The life I didn’t care for has gone
Useless technology beeps besides me

Your life goes on while mine puddles below me.

Keep your eyes peeled, there will be an update on what I’ve written coming at the absolute latest by this time tomorrow! Have a very happy poetry day everyone (and if you’re in the UK – celebrate the poetry to dull the pain of it also being Budget Day…)