The Poetry Place

Open Studio

A writer's blog

Trevor Millum, Teachit poet in residenceThe aim of the blog is to try to show the process of writing. It's a bit artificial because you can't reproduce all the thoughts and crossings out that take place either metaphorically or literally.   

However, it might help to show students that poems do not spring fully-formed onto the page. 

Previous blogs are archived: see the list at the right of the page.  Quite a few have been inspired by existing poems (by Edward Thomas, Duffy, Heaney, Armitage and others) and there are also villanelles, sonnets and lots of light verse.  I enjoy this - and it keeps me writing!

Last Post

Thursday, 19 February 2015 10:57:52

Thursday, 19 February 2015 10:57:52

I've re-ordered two of the verses so that the chronology is better and found a way of ending. Last Post was a bit obvious - but too good not to use.

Postal orders were disappearing,
Telegrams were very few

Though each Monday still saw a child allowance 
And a pension queue

Remember how we licked our stamps
Got some glue

Upon our lips and tore along the perforations
As nowadays we rarely do?

Every year the some streamlined improvement
And some jargon you

Had to get your head around and explain to us
What was reorganised, what was new.

Progress - or change, at least - you took in your stride
Took the longer view

But now... no more first or second class. Enough.
Last post. It's time to go



Postal Farewell

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 17:39:56

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 17:39:56

Some tidying and a couple more last lines. Just the finishing touch - usually the most difficult.

Postal orders were disappearing,
Telegrams were very few

Though each Monday still saw a child allowance 
And a pension queue

Every year the some streamlined improvement
And some jargon you

Had to get your head around and explain to us
What was reorganised, what was new.

Remember how we licked our stamps
Got some glue

Upon our lips and tore along the perforations
As nowadays we rarely do?

Progress - or change, at least - you took in your stride
Took the longer view

But now at last, it's time to go. No more first class



Sunday, 15 February 2015 16:09:06

Sunday, 15 February 2015 16:09:06

Reading Hardy recently and like the way he introduces short lines. Gives me a structure and of course the attraction of a rhyme. Not just a rhyme but one I'm tempted to run with right the ay through. Well, we;ll see if it works.  So far, it's okay though it needs refining.  Replaced 'Something' with 'What's' in line 8 and added an 'and'mhere and there.  SO:

Postal orders were disappearing,

Telegrams were very few

Though each Monday still saw a child allowance 
And a pension queue

Every year the some streamlined improvement

And some jargon you

Had to get your head around and explain to us

What’s reorganised, what’s new

Remember how we licked our stamps

Got some glue

Upon our lips and tore along perforations

 

Only the queens head remained much the same



Post Office Blues

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 18:23:56

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 18:23:56

Re-starting...

Remember telegrams and postal orders?
Even cheque books were new for some
And every Monday there was a child allowance 
And pension queue.
We licked our stamps and tore along their perforations
And never thought of lottery tickets.
You learnt to handle credit card transactions
Pushed packets through slits in plastic 
And came across and conquered jargon



Farewell Notes

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 15:49:24

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 15:49:24
Yes - it's taking a while to get into this and there have been a number of dstractions.   Bear with me...


Saturday, 31 January 2015 16:48:28

Saturday, 31 January 2015 16:48:28

A slow beginning. And a structure has yet to emerge.

You’ve weighed your last parcel sold your last stamp
Will ask first or second class no more
When you began it was possible
To send a telegram
For those without cheque books to buy a postal order
Before credit card transactions
And lottery tickets
Parcel on the big scales
Little letter on the balance

 



Farewell Notes

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 11:14:55

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 11:14:55

The idea of First class would be a way of ending the poem and a fitting way to acknowledge their work.

You watched patiently as change was counted, parcels weighed

Looked up the rates for different sizes, different destinations

Your destination too is different now -  ( is that too cheesy, too obvious?)

Some chose to tell you their life stories

Others kept their parcels and their stories to themselves / parcels and their feeling s to their chest / held their parcels and their stories closer

 

 

 

 



Farewell Notes

Saturday, 24 January 2015 17:02:42

Saturday, 24 January 2015 17:02:42

A first line occurred to me immediately

You’ve weighed your last parcel sold your last stamp

Bur how to follow it? 

Postal orders   money orders  telegrams...   No, out of date.

Now they sell - no, until recently sold lottery tickets.

I ask myself what do I recall?  Being asked “Second or first?”
Watching letters for abroad being weighed on the delicate scales.  Waiting while someone counts in bags of money in small change...

 



Farewell Notes

Thursday, 22 January 2015 14:54:53

Thursday, 22 January 2015 14:54:53

Time to start a new poem.  The thought here is to do with saying goodbye to something or someone.   It's a familiar theme in poetry as we reach for something more substantial than just ordinary prose.

We've been saying goodbye to our old post office and farewell to the two ladies who have run it for twenty plus years.  So there will be some ideas here which try to get to describe that - without being too sentimental. 

 



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