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!

Time was away

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 15:25:11

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 15:25:11

Another verse, which came quite easily:

We were away and somewhere else

Away for the one time of the year
Heaven was a rustic chalet near the beach
And for a boy to have his father near
While away and somewhere else

The structure of the verse does encourage end stopped lines. It doesn't force them but pushes towards them and therefore emphasises the rhyme where I would like it to be something you hardly notice. 

So here's where we're up to:

Time was away and somewhere else
And the salt of the sea washed our toes
(While) till the wind hurried us indoors
To (put on) gather up warm clothes
And time was away and somewhere else

The sea was away and somewhere far
When later we walked in evening light
Treading Worm casts and cockle shells
Skirting salt puddles (and soft in) till the oncoming night 
Took the sea away and somewhere far

The sea was away and somewhere else
But the tide rips in fast through here
And unwary walkers, paddlers, dreamers
Can be taken unaware
As the sea is no longer
Away and somewhere else

We were away and somewhere else
Away for the one time of the year
Heaven was a rustic chalet near the beach
And for a boy to have his father near
While away and somewhere else

 

 



Time was away

Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:40:39

Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:40:39

We were away and somewhere else

Away for the one time of the year
Heaven was a rustic chalet near the beach
And for a boy to have his father near
While away and somewhere else

The structure of the verse does encourage end stopped lines. It doesn't force them but pushes towards them and therefore emphasises the rhyme where I would like it to be something you hardly notice. 



Time was away

Thursday, 12 March 2015 17:28:45

Thursday, 12 March 2015 17:28:45

We were away and somewhere else

Returning over the sharp shingle

It's a satisfying thing when you have a rhyme duty to fulfil and as you write words as they come into your head, an apt rhyme appears immediately afterwards.  So with 'shingle'. I know that 'tingle' wil be what I want to describe the way feet recall the cold and salt of the sea when they are back in their shoes and socks.



Time was away

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:54:18

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:54:18

Memories are such a potent source. Over the years they can become encrusted with interpretation, retelling, even re-thinking.  As I recall it, there were sandbanks you did well to avoid as the tide turned.  This needs work but the gist of a third verse is here.

The sea was away and somewhere else
But the tide rips in fast through here
And unwary walkers, paddlers, dreamers
Can be taken unaware
As the sea is no longer
Away and somewhere else



Time was away

Sunday, 8 March 2015 17:43:37

Sunday, 8 March 2015 17:43:37

Inspired by Meeting Point by Louis MacNeice which I used in the Wider Reading unit recently, I want to try the form he uses, repeating the first line at the end of each verse.  I was also struck by the fascinating repeated line and I'm going to try to incorporate it.   It conjured up a memory of the seaside from my childhood.  This is a start, with a few changes already made.

Time was away and somewhere else
And the salt of the sea washed our toes
(While) till the wind hurried us indoors
To (put on) gather up warm clothes
And time was away and somewhere else

The sea was away and somewhere far
When later we walked in evening light
Treading Worm casts and cockle shells
Skirting salt puddles (and soft in) till the oncoming night 
Took the sea away and somewhere far

 



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