Posts Tagged ‘joy’

Something I haven’t had much time for lately is my own writing. I’ve been doing bits and pieces, and taking opportunities when available. At the beginning of May, for example, I went down to Chipping Campden with a friend for a one-day workshop run by Mario Petrucci. The title of the workshop was ’16 ways to write a poem’, and we did a lot of listening and a lot of writing.

The best thing for me about the day was getting my mind back into the poetry groove for a while. You know how it is, you spend hours and hours writing copy for websites or festival programmes, or proofreading other writers’ work, then it takes a significant effort to switch your head into a creative mode.

KeyringOne of Mario’s 16 ways was called ‘The Third Mind’. He asked us to write ten lines about an object – any object. I chose the keyring my mum gave me as a graduation present back in 1987 – a comment on my tendency then to lock myself out! These were the lines I wrote:

Goldish colour fading to silver.
A present from my mum.
Slightly corroded, pitted by time.
Holds my keys.
Gets tangled up in itself.
Makes a nice rattling sound.
Heavier than my keys.
Gucci logo (the old one).
Has interesting links in its chain.
Works by pulling (not turning) the bit that looks like a screw.

I read the lines out with no explanation, then Mario gave them a title selected at random from a list of feelings we’d generated beforehand… for mine the title was ‘Friendship’. Try reading the lines again with that title in mind…

Amazing, isn’t it?

I love poetry, the exactness of each word, the way every single nuance feeds into every single line and makes it more than it is. I’m working on a poem at the moment which, on the face of it, makes no sense. But when you read it in light of the title the whole thing clicks into place somehow. And one of the joys of poetry is talking about it with other poets. On Friday I went to the first meeting of a new poetry critiquing group. I was so pleased when my poet friends, who hadn’t seen that poem before, instinctively understood what it was about and gave me some invaluable advice on how it could do its work better. I’m looking forward to finding a couple of hours to work on that poem, now I know what it needs.

Perhaps in another blog post I’ll be able to identify more clearly just what it is about poetry that has grabbed me and won’t let me go. I doubt it though. I just know it gives me great joy and a sense of being with words in a purer way than any other kind of writing or reading.

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