Saturday, February 24, 2018

I was delighted to receive my contributor copy of The Caught Habits of Language - an anthology of poems in celebration of W.S. Graham edited by Rachael Boast, Andy Ching and Nathan Hamilton. It is such a beautifully produced book with many great poems inside plus many previously unpublished poems by W.S. Graham. A real privilege to be part of this. The book will be launched at StAnza on Saturday 10th March, but you can pre-order a copy of the book at a discounted price from Donut Press here.

I've been battling over the last couple of months with a poem based on an old Gaelic song - The Jealous Wife - you can hear it sung here - . The song itself originates from a traditional ballad theme based on Child Ballad 10. For some reason I can't get into the heart of the poem yet, so I've had to accept that and sit it aside.

I've written a four-part poem about Freud's couch which was wonderfully fun to write - I watched a short programme about Freud's couch for my course and immediately felt the stirrings of a poem which I repressed because I wanted to work on my ballad. But after a few days the urge to write about Freud's couch overtook me so I gave in and had a ball with it.

I've been moving between reading Brigit Pegeen Kelly and Transtromer, I feel I'm subconsciously inhabiting Kelly's poems - she creates such all enclosed, tangible worlds - they are wonderful places to be.
As I've sat my ballad project aside for now I'm moving between writing and working on smaller nature poems, not sure there is a bigger theme there which bothers me a little. I love nothing more than to be in the middle of a bigger theme that I can really explore and draw out many poems from.

Perhaps I'll find my way back into my ballads through these smaller poems.


Joe O'Neill said...

Thanks for the tips on Grunbein and Kelly, his Casta Diva and her Doing Laundry on Sunday at Poetry Foundation have opened small cracks if not yet doors in something I'm working on, as has your lovely Poppies. Thanks too for the blog, so nice to have access to a fine poet's reflections on process, reading, influences etc.

Marion McCready said...

Hi Joe, thanks for the nice comment. Pleased to hear that my poppies are sparking off your own work!