Thursday, February 05, 2009

A month ago everything around me seemed to inspire possibilities for poems but now it seems nothing can. I'm bored by my every attempt to write and wondering if I've exhausted my local landscape. The only lines I have and have had for the last month that seems to me to have possibilities are:

She waits for the birds,
they come daily.
Bringing news from Delphi
and the Middle East.

Yet I can't make anything of them.
So I been baking cakes, watching anything vaguely interesting on tv and even having early nights! This no writing lark is not much fun.

Two rejections last month, one made into the final selection but just not picked in the end - seems to be a common theme with my submissions, the other was a very nice - 'I like your work but they're not quite right for this magazine', however the editor was kind enough to suggest a couple of other mags that he thought would take my work.

On a positive note, I've booked my tickets for StAnza 2009.
Here are the events I'm going to:
Reading by Simon Armitage and Bill Manhire
Poetry Breakfast discussion on Poetry and Song Lyrics
Reading by Ros Brackenbury and Annie Boutelle
Ian Rankin in conversation
Reading by Jay Parini and Jenny Bornholdt
Reading by Carol Ann Duffy and Patience Agbabi
and best of all - a Masterclass with Douglas Dunn


Rachel Fox said...

See you at the song lyrics thing. If not for a drink the night before!

Dave King said...

I feel for you, I really do. Difficult to suggest to another poet how to get out of these doldrums.
Coincidentally, apropos of nothing, these lines swam into my head only last evening. I have worked them into a longer poem I have been working on:

A man who writes a line of verse
And then can write no more
Is as a sailor is who, sailing to a distant shore,
Becomes becalmed - the sailor's curse.

Not much help, I guess, except to say that it will pass, you will feel the wind in your sails again.

Sorlil said...

that's great rachel, it'll be nice to see a friendly face!

hi dave, that's so nice of you, thankyou.

Roxana said...

Sorlil, I think you should worry if you didn't get these impossible periods of 'forced silence'. I know it is difficult to be there, but they seem to be necessary for a new explosion of forces. there is this beautiful image of low and high tide describing the dynamics of the creative process, I have done a lot of research on the topic and it seems to be a common trait to all the artists.

Jim Murdoch said...

Put them aside somewhere safe and forget about them. I have notebooks full of poem-snippets like that. You know my opinion on inspiration, it's just a good idea but if you don't have any good ideas then any old idea will do. I find if someone gives me a challenge, usually a 'firsty' (a first line) and I've never not written a poem based on one. Most aren't my best work but I can think of one that was a wee gem.

Why not ask your readers to supply a first line each and see what grabs you. I sent one to Dave King a while ago and he did a decent job with it, nothing like I would have done but that's the whole point.

rosswilson said...

Trust in the process rather than the result. Even your favourite writers will have went through barren patches, or written badly, as you'll know without me telling you! What can 'I' tell you? A rest might be a good thing. My brain isn't working great at the moment (I've been working eleven hour shifts a few days running.) Writing isn't on the agenda! But I'll know I'll surprise myself sometime, possibly by writing about the very thing that's taken me away from writing in the first place.

Until then, I'm waiting for the birds, though they come anything but daily.

Stanza: you've just remninded me to put in for a holiday. I'm a Fifer and I've never been a Stanza-ir. That must change! Good luck with the writing.

Sorlil said...

'a new explosion of forces' - I like the sound of that! thanks roxana.

hi jim, yes maybe it would be a good time to try some exercises, thanks for that.

hi ross, very pleased to meet you! good point, I guess it's also worthwhile taking a step back from it all and evaulate what I'm doing. thankyou.

Dick said...

You may well find that bathing in the intense atmosphere of StAnza will shake all sorts of things loose. So, enjoy and profit!

Sorlil said...

very true, it had a big impact on me last year!

William said...

When do ideas gestate? When one isn't thinking about them!

Relax! You'll get restarted.

swiss said...

write! write about cakes! write about any old thing!

rejections? who cares? what do they know!

stanza. i'm still untaken by the line up but no doubt i'll appear anyway. we should all meet up for a beer, stage an impromtu reading!

Sorlil said...

hi william, welcome to my blog! yes getting stressed about it is one sure way of not writing!

hi swiss, hmm a poem about my soggy-in-the-middle carrot cake! an impromtu reading eh? lol

Frances said...

I agree with everyone. The creative process has its own ebb and flow even though its difficult to be in the ebb bit it will come back.

swiss said...

yes, a poem about cake. i rather like the idea of that. i feel my zero knowledge of baking shouldn;t stand in the way of it!

Sorlil said...

thanks frances, all part of the process I guess.

lol, I look forward to seeing your cake poem, swiss!

Rachel Fox said...

I have a poem called 'Cakes in rain' but it's not really about cake.
Rowdy meeting in St A's seems likely. If it's Fri evening I'll join you all. Otherwise not.

Colin Will said...

These things are cyclic - we all get periods when it's not working for us. You'll come out of it - listen to the birds.

I'm looking forward to meeting up with as many as possible of you at StAnza. At the moment I'm wondering if I should wear my kilt, in view of my posting John Masters' quote.

Sorlil said...

I'm unlikely to make it friday night as I'll be at the Armitage reading unless you'll all be hanging around after 10pm??
how about a less rowdy get-together on the sat afternoon?

thanks colin, would be great to meet you!

Colin Will said...

Sat afternoon I'll be running the Homecoming Haiku at the Poets' Market. Come in and leave a line or three.

Jane Holland said...

As said above, these things are cyclical. You'll probably find that, quite suddenly, and often without any obvious impetus, you'll start writing again and be unable to STOP. Until that new vein is exhausted again, that is.

I usually find discovering a new poet I admire gets me going. But often in a slavish way, so that's not always a good thing.

I haven't written much since late summer. A few bursts of creativity, then silence again. Too much hard work elsewhere to distract me, and also some worries about my direction as a poet. The usual suspects. If I haven't got back into the groove by late spring, I'll allow myself to be worried.

Still, it's not all bad. Aren't you looking forward to being in Horizon, issue two? Not long now, only a matter of weeks ... !


Rachel Fox said...

I'll be at poet's market thing on the sat pm too. We may just have to form a random gathering there. Bring flasks (contents at poet's discretion)- just watch out for the bearded man in the kilt...

Sorlil said...

sounds good, colin!

thanks for that, Jane, and I'm very much looking forward to being in Horizon :)

rachel, maybe we should all wear pink carnations so we can recognise each other, lol! apart from the bearded man in the kilt of course!