In my last post I said that I would talk about some of my new writing; so this post, albeit somewhat later than expected, is built around that idea.
I thought it might be interesting to look at who or what I am writing about, where I write and the most important question which is why. So for a number of my more recently completes poems I’ve set out answers to those questions – I think I may learn more from this than my readers do – it would be really interesting to hear back from readers perhaps with their own answers to some of those questions….
So here goes, some poems I’ve completed recently (there are always a few still in development at any time and in some ways my poems are never really finished):
Who? – This is partly about me but also about anyone reading or performing with an audience.
What? – The poem looks at how whilst being calm and professional on the outside we can still be stuttering and stumbling on the inside.
Where? – I started to make notes on this idea straight after a poetry event and then worked on it at home over a period of time.
Why? – This is always likely to be the hardest question and in this instance it came from watching people reading for their first time and remembering how that felt. Perhaps I wrote is as a reminder to myself that the poem always differs a little every time it is read – because of my own internal mental stuttering.
An understanding of cattle
Who? – This is a poem about my Dad and there’s a fair bit of my uncle Dan, one of his brothers, in there too.
What? – The poem talks about the nature of people through the way they can develop an understanding of other animals. The understanding of cattle becomes a metaphor for a much wider understanding of life and the attributes that make that possible.
Where? – I can’t remember when I first started on this poem but it has developed in my notebook for a good few months before becoming a single piece to be edited and formed into a “completed” poem. The work has often been done in quiet moments wherever I happen to be and strangely that matched the theme quite well.
Why? – Something reminded me that most people don’t seem to understand most animals very well and the concept of the poem was there straight away. It quickly became a poem about my Dad and memories of my Uncle Dan also fitted in so it becomes part of a growing collection of writing about family.
Swabbed for MRSA
Who? – This one is about my own personal experience.
What? – I wrote this about being in hospital overnight to be checked over for some sort of heart irregularity. It turned out to be a fairly fruitless visit because my heart refused to misbehave while I was there but I wrote about some of the things going on overnight.
Where? – I actually started making notes and putting together a few lines on my mobile phone while I was in the hospital. The development then took place over a year later whilst pausing for a brew or whilst working in my office.
Why? – It started as a record of what it was like to be admitted with an erratic heart beat and it felt significant and topically current that the first thing they did was swab me for MRSA.