Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Writing Poetry

Writing poetry is like being in a balloon, floating high above the visible earth, caught by currents that direct you this way or that, although you may pretend that direction is under your control. It is not: move this way or that—deflation is a force that must be dealt with—and when back on the soil, accept that the adventure is over until the next time. Only then is it best to reflect, and not get too taken up with your own part in it all. You were the balloon, for a while, and allowed to see all under you.

You are not the wind.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Popular poetry

Just when I start a movement - Poetry|Pulp - to get the appreciation of poetry into hearts and minds, the fecking BBC start a series on poetry, aiming to do the same thing. Being the BBC they will probably succeed, but also being the BBC it will probably end up seeming as aloof and inaccessible as it did before. What is the right approach, and how are we going to jam the hoof of poetry into the mouths of the confused? What we need first is a receptive audience but, let's face it, poetry is never going to appeal to the masses.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Not a Laure laughs

So, outgoing Poet Laureate Andrew Motion says that the job of writing verse for the Royal Family is "thankless" and gave him a case of writer's block. I'm not surprised. Where is the inspiration of an outmoded monarchic system that only serves nowadays as a tourist attraction? What he should have done is never accept the 'job' in the first place. Ted Hughes made a pig's ear of it - his Royal verses are worthless, as Motion admits his are too. And the poetic impulse has left him, much as it left Philip Larkin, although he (Larkin) admitted it was more as if his gift were taken away.

The publicity would have sold him a lot of books, but at what cost?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reading Poetry

Read a poem not as you would prose, or even in a prosaic state of mind. Instead, you need to cast your mind to one side, to read each sequence of words as if they were an object. Before you is no mere description; every word is a stone, a solid lump of the edifice poetry. Look at a poem as you would gaze at stars, in the dark of the night, in order to see more clearly. If you face a poem head on, with everyday focus - it disappears.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Poet's Creed#1

Poets should write with feeling, and be read with understanding.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Poetry Super Highway

Today I want to share a link to the Poetry Super Highway, being managed by Rick Lupert, who has the enthusiasm and energy I desire (but never seem to reach), and a dedication to poetry which deserves recognition. I took part in an exchange of poetry books organised by Rick earlier this year, receiving a copy of Pause... and Begin Again from Elizabeth Marchitti, and sending a copy of my own book Signs to Robyn Weinbaum, in Florida. I look forward to doing it again next year, because it is important that poets share their poems and experiences.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I am angry

Poetry needs help. Poets are out there, in their thousands, but we are not proactive enough. Politicians prance, pose and trillions(!) of dollars worth of resources are drained into a banking and credit system that sucks it all up.

This is a new phenomenon. We have never seen its like before - the wages, sweat, efforts and savings that we thought would be ours are being squandered. Not even that, but pulped, yes, before our blinded eyes. Pulped, mashed, swished away in a gigantic drain. Disappearing, never to be seen again (except by the same bankers who opened the sluices in the first place.)

Who is to blame? Mainly, the self-centred governments who allowed/encouraged fractional reserve banking in the first place (look it up, Google it, see how we got into this mess). Then, the consumer. Yep, you and me, our children, wives, husbands anyone who ever bought anything on credit, going back down the centuries, taking money off the lenders and paying it back, with interest, because we thought it would make our lives better.

That's a lot of us, I would hazard almost everyone. Those who, to take one example, rubbed their hands while the price of property soared and their little domain swelled in value while they anticipated the death of elderly relatives to add to the pot of gold that they would use to buy the holidays and trinkets and luxuries that we deserve...

...and so on. We need to come back to poetry. For the soul. Eye of a needle and all that stuff - poetry means something in this life, Here, now, if you read it, if you understand it, tune in and see how relevant it can become. Poetry needs help, but not a lot of it. It is always there, always written, always read. We need to make it real, throw it in the mixer of solutions and drains and soggy banknotes and see what comes out of it, where it ends up, where it needs to be, along with all the best interpretations of our sorry state. On top.

Friday, March 13, 2009

In anticipation

Poetry podcast#1 coming here soon.