Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thinking on the page

My writing year is underway. I have a filing system and spreadsheet for prose pieces so I can track the short fiction and essays already sent out in the the rough, tough publishing world. And I've enrolled on a Fish Publishing flash fiction course -10 weeks with a focus on this very short form and support that starts right now as the welcome and first module email has arrived in my inbox!

More on my renewed experience of serious prose writing in the coming weeks, and more on poetry as I work up some poems from drafts started at autumn workshops.  Perhaps more on the pros and cons of writing both at the same time.

I'm slowly reading through The Forage House - this morning on pages 36-7 Home of the Taylors, a poem that unsurprisingly in this collection draws on history bringing the past into the present. Is it I wrote in my pen to paper journal history as poetry or poetry as history  ...  and to extend this thinking, how does the form (couplets) condense the history, are some essentials missed, or does the brevity allow the reader to go where they want, perhaps into their personal histories?

The other thing I notice about this poem is the use of nouns and pronouns. It could be said that there is name dropping of a high order here, although I would guess that you need to know your US aristocracy to fully understand the impact!  Nonetheless, it raised questions for me of an excluded reader, who is this poem for, how much is generalisable?

And this poem has another example of an unattached pronoun ... here in the final line, 'you shut your doors'.... mystery here, who are 'you'. I rather like being left to think about that. From my journal
                        how often do I neglect to examine my use of nouns and pronouns as I do what verbs I am using, to ask are the nouns & pronouns working as much I ask this of any metaphor?

Comments very welcome ... it would be great to hear your thoughts on unattached pronouns in poetry ... now I am going to read flash fiction course module 1 ... exciting!

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