Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Poetry overload? Clearing my head

I may have over-immersed myself in poetry recently - reading poets previously known and many new to me, reading books about poetry, thinking about poetry and also looking at poetry blogs and writing my own. I may take a break - but not before writing this, if for no other reason than to get it out of my head.

Things that have occurred to me as a result of the above - in no particular order. (I've already spoken a bit about it in earlier blogs.) 

  • there is so much that I haven't thought about - about myself and others
  • there is quite a bit I have thought about - but I'm not sure now how I feel about it
  • having now thought more about it, I'm more confused than I was before I started
  • I've found poetry unlike anything I've read before, and so unlike anything I've written myself - and I don't have a fixed style of writing - and that's quite exciting
  • it still confuses me that I can really like some poems in a collection and really dislike others
  • there's a limit to how much poetry I can read at one time - and it can begin to blur, particularly if the poet only seems to have one theme or style
  • whether it is deemed necessary or desirable by others, I need to have some understanding of a poem. I don't want it tied up in a bow, but I need something...
  • it's what's common between me and the poet that is important to me - the poet's individual experience may not be something I've experienced, but there's something there which I can relate to - and that is not about specifics - gender, sexuality, trauma... but about human feelings - loss, love, fear...
  • titles can really put me off poems. For example, I'm a woman and not squeamish, but I'm still put off by the title 'Ode to menstrual blood' - Sharon Olds
  • I like it when the form of a poem and its repetitions and rhythms draw me in and hold me and engulf me and I can feel it - all of which is true of the poems in Alice Oswald's Falling Awake
  • I like lines that jump out and grab me - which is also true of the  poems in Alice Oswald's Falling Awake
  • I'm interested in how humour can reveal and disguise so much - and how well similes and metaphors can work with it - Hera Lindsay Bird
  • there is so much out there!
  • there needs to be more joy in poetry
Enough! I'm going for a lie-down on the piles of books and magazines I've read and the copious scribbled notes I've written which may one day turn into poems. And when the weather improves, and the other 'stuff' which is currently invading my life and my poetry allows it, I'm going to go out for a walk and watch birds and take some photographs and return to my perennial quest to capture all the joy that gives me.

My thanks to all those who have given me support online - I really appreciate it.


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