Tuesday, October 25, 2011

There's a nice wee write-up about my poem 'The Kitten and the Brick-layers Cap' which appears in the pamphlet anthology of poems ‘Starry Rhymes: 85 Years of Allen Ginsberg’ (edited by Claire Askew and Stephen Welsh) on the Sabotage Reviews website here.

Thanks to Rachel for  this link to the Guardian for tips for writing by a great range of  authors, one I like so far:
"You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there's no free lunch. Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you're on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine." Margaret Atwood

Nothing to do with poetry but...

...my husband is playing a starring role in the manhunt for James May across Dartmoor which will be shown tonight (Tuesday) on BBC2 at 8pm as the first episode of the new series of Man Lab! So if you happen so catch it, my better half is the one sporting the combats!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

out in the cold

For some unbeknown reason Facebook has currently suspended my account! So until it's been sorted out I might even get a few poems written!

I've been on a bit of a non-poetry reading frenzy lately which began with the following three Plath books I was sent: Bitter Fame by Anne Stevenson, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath by Jacqueline Rose and The Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm. The most interesting, for me, was the Rose book. There was much more of a focus on Plath's poems in it including some stuff I hadn't previously read much about such as the possible influence of cinema films on Plath's work, more on the influence of African folklore, and a rather extensive almost Freudian-like emphasis on sexuality in the interpretation of many Plath's poems. The infamous Bitter Fame was a pretty dull read and the Malcolm book offered an interesting perspective on the history and difficulties facing Plath biographiers.

After the Plath triad, I then became thoroughly engrossed in reading a biography of the Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing. R.D. Laing: A Divided Self by John Clay is an absolutely fascinating read. Laing was a forward thinker in his time and helped lead the way to modern thinking about mental illness, schizophrenia in particular, and therefore how it should be treated. Laing's psychiatry and writings were heavily influenced by existentiallism, at the height of his career he was a great success but on a personal level he was unpredictable and completely off-the-wall to put it mildly. A quote from wiki: "Many former colleagues regarded him as a brilliant mind gone wrong but there were some who thought Laing was somewhat psychotic".
You can read more about him on Jim's blog here.

Now I'm onto Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams. I'm only a few chapters in but it's fascinating reading Freud's hypothesis that all dreams are a form of wish-fulfillment which is backed up by detailed analysis of several of his own dreams, dreams of some of his patients and even dreams by some of his children. Even from a sociological perspective alone it is deeply interesting to see what people were dreaming about over a century ago!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

draft poem

I'm not sure why writing poetry should be such a cathartic experience but sometimes just the effort of having cobbled some words together on-screen can be an amazing pick-me-up!

What a happy coincidence: to be reading Tomas Transtromer the week it is announced that he has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. If you didn't know much about him before there's now no shortage of articles on him and his poetry popping up all over the place.

First draft

Like the Sklif of a Daylight Moon

(poem removed)