That’s what set’s the poet free…

I am sort of in between jobs at the moment- one of the joys of doing agency work. There is a song that keeps coming in to my mind;

Having said that- on Sunday, I got paid for talking about poetry all day! It was such a lovely day that I kind of feel bad for even taking the money. The soup was good too- not a cold dog in sight.

I am referring to the poetry workshop that I ran for the Castle Lachlan Trust out at Inver Cottage Restaurant. I had three punters- and it was such a privilege to share a day full of words with them. Each person used poetry in different ways, but it felt like something was being set free in each of us…

Poetry workshop…

I ran a poetry workshop today under the umbrella of Michaela and Pauline’s ‘Blue Sky Craft Workshops‘. We spent the morning talking about/reading/writing poetry, and this afternoon people are creating art from words.

I very much enjoyed my bit this morning- it is a real indulgence to immerse myself in words, in good company. The food was good too!

It reminded me of how important it is to create- but also to create together- sharing our stories and experiencing the vulnerability of exposing our skills to the scrutiny of others.

I asked people to write three lines, then talk about them, and they wrote some lovely things- which I will not recreate without permission.

I wrote this, sat for a quiet moment in the mess of our music room/study-

Kind clutter gathers

All dusty

In this mess

Called love

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.