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!  Any comments welcome.

 

Offa's Land

Friday, 24 February 2017 17:12:16

Friday, 24 February 2017 17:12:16

The idea of the cloth prompts me to think of where it’s torn – as in where there are intrusive buildings. Farm buildings used to sit comfortably in their surroundings, built from local stone or brick. Metal barns don’t fit in quite the same way!  Not the farmer’s fault – who could afford to build a stone barn? But they are still an eyesore.

Here and there this garment’s torn

Punctured by prefabricated sheds and barn

…or something like that.

 



Offa's Land

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:39:39

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 11:39:39

Developing the metaphor...

I want to use hedgerow in line 3 to make the idea of stitched seams clearer so I will delete it from line 2 and substitute ‘hillside’ which works better anyway.

Offa’s land, the landscape of the Marches

Is rich in hillside, field and tree

The panorama stitched together hurriedly

By lines of hedgerows and the odd patch

Of …………… and hemmed in by ditch and lane

 

(Line 2 is two beats short; ‘panorama’ and ‘hurriedly’ are place-savers for the moment.) 



Offa's Land

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 10:39:59

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 10:39:59

Having added the possessive to King Offa, I can move on.

I want to use hedgerow in line 3 to make the idea of stitched seams clearer so I will delete it from line 2 and substitute ‘hillside’ which works better anyway:

Offa’s land, the landscape of the Marches

Is rich in hillside, field and tree

The panorama stitched together hurriedly

By lines of hedgerows and the odd patch

Of …………… and hemmed in by ditch and lane

(Line 2 is two beats short; ‘panorama’ and ‘hurriedly’ are place-savers for the moment.) 



Offa' Land

Thursday, 9 February 2017 12:13:39

Thursday, 9 February 2017 12:13:39

This is a bit of a cheat as I have already completed the poem - but I kept notes as I was going along to try and give an idea of the process.  It's based on driving through the countryside of Shropshire and Hereford.  Starting:

Offa’s land, the landscape of the Marches

Is rich in field, hedgerow and tree

The panorama stitched together hurriedly

By……………

…….. lines of ……………………and the odd patch

And hemmed in by ditch and lane

I like the image of stitching the countryside together with hedges. Though it’s probably not original, I haven’t knowingly taken it from some other poem – or prose, for that matter.

Hemmed continues the idea.   



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