Monday, January 19, 2015

Thankful for an honest and thoughtful blog review of Tree Language here.

I'm excited to say that a series of my new poems will be published later this year in a collection featuring two other poets also. I'll write more details when it's all been finalised.
My section is going to be called The Birth Garden and will be prefaced with this quote from Euripides' Medea -
"I would rather stand three times in a battle line than give birth to one child".

As the title suggests, the poems are very much intermingled birth and garden poems. I was really excited at how well the birth and garden poems worked together when I was putting together the selection for the book. I thought I would move away from the bloodiness of Tree Language but I'm afraid these poems are rather bloody too!
I was really taken with the concept of Twilight Sleep - an induced amnesia so that the body remembers the pain of childbirth but the mind doesn't - and also how birthing women were ill-treated during the process.

Not quite sure what to move onto next with my poems. I've recently got very much into D. H. Lawrence's poems - I have no idea why they are not so widely applauded, some of them seem incredible to me. I wrote an odd tulip poem very much under Lawrence's influence and I liked the different tone to it so maybe that's an area I can push further.

Have dozens of submissions out - hope some of them take. My longish three part Lot's Wife poem will be in the New York based online journal Transmissions in March.  


Jim Murdoch said...

I think the important thing to remember about Tim’s “reviews” is what he himself says at the top: “these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces.” That said the one thing that you immediately feel is that you’ve been read and only read but read and thought about and we really can’t ask for any more. The problem with reviewing poetry I’ve found is that you never have enough time. You can read a novel in three days and toss of a couple of thousand meaningful words with relative ease. Try doing that with a book of poems but how much time can you decently afford to spend ruminating before you put pen to paper? The best poems, the very best poems, you live with for years and they become a part of you. Your poem about the Red Road high rises is one like that. Whether you consider it your best poem is academic. It’s the one once I’d added my tuppenceworth made the most sense to me. But what I like about Tim’s articles is that they stimulate interest. You want to see for yourself. When I’m looking to buy a book I regularly jump to the one- and two-star reviews because I often find more there to pique my interest. Not that this is a one- or two-star review, far from it. But he doesn’t gush and so you’re more inclined to take him seriously. His last paragraph alone was enough to make me want to have a read at your book again; it’s probably been long enough. But I have a book to edit and now I’m into it nothing else is getting done for a while.

As regards Lawrence's poetry I expect the simple answer is that his prose caused so much of a stooshie people are drawn to that out of curiosity (not me though) and once that curiosity’s been satisfied they’re done. He’s not the only author to suffer. Look up Alan Sillitoe for example. Who’s ever read anything bar ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ and maybe, maybe Saturday Night and Sunday Morning? (Me. actually.) Fifteen books of poetry alone!

Marion McCready said...

yes, I was pleased he took the time to write about it especially since he wasn't bowled over by it.
you're right about Lawrence, I never really read much of his poetry (apart from the anthology pieces) though I had read the novels. I'm afraid I've read nothing of Alan Sillitoe!

Tim Love said...

I agree with Jim. I write about all the books I read (and I don't just pick books I know I'll like beforehand), trying to calibrate so that I don't over-gush or get bowled-over. I tend to be descriptive and fault-finding rather than impressionistic and incomprehensible - too many reviewers seem to use review-speak. See The language of reviews for examples.

Marion McCready said...

thanks Tim, I agreed with much of what you said and I appreciate your willingness to write about all of the books you read and your effort to try to understand what the writer is attempting whether or not you like it or think they've been successful!