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Showing posts from April, 2020

Reluctant Poet, Sod it I’m 50 now & out of the closet

Oh the shame For many years I hid the fact I wrote poetry, even from fellow writers. Why? My shame stemmed from the thought I wasn’t doing it right: my iambic pentameter was bound to be all wrong, my rhythm none existent, my rhyme cliché. I quivered in fear of collective poetic outrage. Instead I secretly sent work off to collections and quietly attended readings. No-one was more surprised than I was when my writing got accepted several times. But still, I refrained from openly mentioning my habit to all but a select few I felt would keep my secret safely stashed. The evidence Whatever… Then I turned 50 and suddenly I didn’t care. Older friends told me this would be so but I doubted their wisdom. I realised I truly didn’t care. About a whole list of things. E.g. Grey hair Hairy legs Nail polish Perfectly arched brows Voicing my opinion freely See how I snuck that one in there. The very day I turned 50 I began to sound remarkably like my mother. I w

Eye to Aye with Poetry

Recently in my writing group we had a very interesting conversation about poetry and why so many people feel they are unqualified to comment on it let alone attempt writing it. Both myself and another very accomplished poet argued that poetry should be for everyone and the reason so many people are put off is because their introduction to it has been stultifying. We are made to feel that if we don’t understand form, method, metre, then we’d best step aside and leave it all to the professionals. But I believe we all intrinsically grasp poetry because it is first and foremost about the sound of words. Us humans relish rhythmic sounds. It’s why we listen to music, sing and dance. I stand by this opinion as I have to teach children about poetry and am met by their fear of it coupled with the idea it will be too difficult to understand. In a classroom full of resistance to poetry I start with just one word. Your basic, everyday common noun. I ask them to list several objects: book