Making poetry…

Just back home after leading a poetry workshop with Audrey.

We were a little bit nervous, but it seemed to go well. There were 7-8 people from a local church, and we talked about personification and assonance and the like, and then read some lovely words.

I love it when people start to get turned on by ideas… and this did start to happen.

I hope the folk there get into writing some stuff.

It really is good for the soul.

We had a discussion about words, and I described hoarding them, relishing them ready to plant them and let them grow into a poem. And how sometimes it really is that simple.

But at other times- as with all things worth doing- poetry is hard work.

It requires a lines on your face.

So, a bit of Audrey’s favourite poet- R S Thomas. Lines and all.

Poetry For Supper
Listen, now, verse should be as natural
As the small tuber that feeds on muck
And grows slowly from obtuse soil
To the white flower of immortal beauty.

Natural, hell! What was it Chaucer
Said once about the long toil
That goes like blood to the poem’s making?
Leave it to nature and the verse sprawls,
Limp as bindweed, if it break at all
Life’s iron crust. Man, you must sweat
And rhyme your guts taut, if you’d build
Your verse a ladder.

You speak as though
No sunlight ever surprised the mind

Groping on its cloudy path.

Sunlight’s a thing that needs a window
Before it enters a dark room.
Windows don’t happen.

So two old poets,
Hunched at their beer in the low haze
Of an inn parlour, while the talk ran
Noisily by them, glib with prose.

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