Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thanks to a link from Todd Swift's Eyewear blog I've just watched a wonderful interview with W.S. Merwin. I bought Merwin's latest collection The Shadow of Sirius the other year after reading this most gorgeous poem of his in the New Yorker.  In the programme Merwin says that Pound advised him to write 75 lines of poetry everyday and went on to say that Merwin, being so young at the time, wouldn't have anything to write about therefore he should learn a language and translate!

Some quotes from Merwin:
"poetry rises out of what we don't know"
"a theme that runs through all poetry and language is a feeling of loss"
" the beginning of language"
"poetry begins by hearing, listening"
"the background of the nourishing dark...that is always with us"

I heartily recommend the programme,  it's 52 minutes long and available to watch here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Writing Methods

Why is it so hard to write poems? I love reading about how poets come to write their poems, their thought-processes, what triggers them etc. I think I think too much about the process, I'm too self-conscious, too aware when I start writing. I've got this mad idea in my head that I want every poem I write to count, to be really meaningful to me, to tell me something. And because of this I struggle to write a poem just for the fun of it. It's counter-productive, this self-imposed pressure is immensely inconducive to writing. So I gather my images, page after page of groups of scenes that I try to find meaningful homes for. The images are the easy part, a walk by the river or in the gardens and the images come but not just nature description, images with real emotional weight. But finding the right narrative home, the story that these images come from is the real struggle. I'd love to know how everyone else writes, some people don't like to talk about their processes but the analytical part of me is greedy for detail about such things.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Goodbye Sorlil, Hello Marion!

Yes, I've finally decided to come out of the closet.
In some ways I'll be sad to see the back of sorlil. I coined the name when I created my first blog which recorded my first full pregnancy and the first couple of scary years of parenthood. We had agreed on the name Sorley for a boy and Lily for a girl hence sorlil!

I met up with Colin the other day to talk over the pamphlet, he thinks possibly early next year for its publication. It was a funny feeling handing over my poems, almost like a purging of my poetic self. I certainly feel 'lighter' for it somehow.

Issue 4 of Horizon Review is running a bit late but hopefully it'll be online sometime this week and with my St Andrew's poem, Cathedral Ruins at Night, in it!

The poetry magazine Anon has recently introduced a new online admissions system where you can create an account and log-in at any time to monitor the status of your poems. I think this is a fantastic idea! Like most people I'm pretty fed up with the merry-go-round of submitting, waiting, waiting, wondering whether to email and chase them up, wondering if they bother to reply if they don't want your work etc etc. Where as here I can have an obsessive day and check the 'status' of my poems ten million times or forget about it for a few day knowing I can check up on them anytime!

*** edit***
Horizon 4 is now online and here's my poem! A really enjoyable issue with poems, art, fiction, reviews, essays and an interesting collaborative poem by two Calder Wood Press poets!
Also, Anon has accepted one of my poems for publication in their next issue!!
I apologise for the excess use of exclamation marks in this post!