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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!

Moving on....

Monday, 14 April 2014 16:38:46

Monday, 14 April 2014 16:38:46
Next challenge?  Perhaps to write something very short!  


Snowdrops - homage to Daffodils

Wednesday, 9 April 2014 14:43:53

Wednesday, 9 April 2014 14:43:53

We wandered neath the threatening clouds
That loomed above the branches, low -
When all at once we saw a crowd:
A host of silver snowdrops glow
Within the trees, below catkins
Bowing their heads to rain and wind.

Continuous as the city lights
Seen from descending aeroplanes
They formed a carpet of milky white
Along the path and through the lanes
How many did we see at once
Shyly bent in downward glance?

And later, when we curse the rain and wind
In wittering  or in moany mood
They flash upon our inward mind
And we recall the snow-dropped wood
And the flowers’ determined gleam
Which illuminates our daytime dreams. 



Daffs - time's up!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014 09:42:32

Tuesday, 8 April 2014 09:42:32

So I got down to fashioning the last verse:

And later, when we curse the rain and wind
In vicious or in moany mood
They flash upon our inward mind
Remember ……  snow-dropped wood
And then we [something something] dream
    With the snowdrops gleam

And later, when we curse the rain and wind
In wittering  or in moany mood
They flash upon our inward mind
And we recall the snow-dropped wood
And the blossoms’ [something] gleam
Which ……… ies our daytime dreams. 

The last verse is hard because I need to bring it back down, to land the poem, as it were, on the runway safely.  I’m searching for the verb for the last verse as well as the adjective for the snowdrop’s gleam. I know the kind of gleam – it’s quiet but determined. Is there a word for that?

Illuminates – I like.   

Persistent?        determined?   But maybe flowers not blossoms

And later, when we curse the rain and wind
In wittering  or in moany mood
They flash upon our inward mind
And we recall the snow-dropped wood
And the flowers’ determined gleam
Which illuminates our daytime dreams.



Daffs

Wednesday, 2 April 2014 12:36:50

Wednesday, 2 April 2014 12:36:50

Promises, promises - and now it's Wednesday already.  My daffodil - snowdrop poem ground to a halt but it's back up and running now.

I'm looking at the last verse now.  There's a fair attempt here which needs something doing to the fifth line.

And later, when we curse the wind and rain
In vicious or in moany mood
They flash upon our inward eye
Remind us of that snopdropped wood
And then we
    With the snowdrops gleam

The previous verse now looks like this, having tweaked the first line and found a way to mimic the last line with something appropriate to the different plants:

Continuous as the city lights
Seen from descending aeroplanes
They formed a carpet of milky white
Along the path and through the lanes
How many did we see at once
Shyly bent in downward glance?

 



Daffs away

Sunday, 30 March 2014 10:18:04

Sunday, 30 March 2014 10:18:04
Away for a week in Wales. Plenty to write about, which I did.  But I realise I've left my snowdrop / daffodils poem untouched, so I will get back to it tomorrow.


Homage to Daffs cont.

Monday, 17 March 2014 14:50:18

Monday, 17 March 2014 14:50:18

Continuous as a galaxy
They shone
They formed a carpet of milky white
Along the path and through the woods
Countless they were

I will retain the third line and change the fourth -

They formed a carpet of milky white
Along the path and through the lanes

Thinking about - and re-membering, the snowdrops did remind me of spots of lights and the time you see those is when you are coming in to land...  So:

Continuous as the lights of towns
Seen from descending aeroplanes

...seemed to fit rather happily.
 

 



Tuesday, 11 March 2014 14:29:37

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 14:29:37

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

is proving a bit more of a challenge...   Lines 3 and 4 have possibilities.

Continuous as a galaxy
They shone
They formed a carpet of milky white
Along the path and through the woods
Countless they were

 


Homage to Daffodils

Saturday, 8 March 2014 17:22:56

Saturday, 8 March 2014 17:22:56

Not happy with lowered but if I replace it with loomed, then I can use low as a rhyme as I was already thinking of how to add a syllable to the fourth line. Glow seems a perfect description.

We wandered neath the threatening clouds
That loomed above the branches, low -
When all at once we saw a crowd:
A host of silver snowdrops glow

I will swap wind and rain to give a rhyme for something else observed - the catkins:

Within the trees, below catkins
Bowing their heads to rain and wind.



Homage to Daffodils

Wednesday, 5 March 2014 09:35:59

Wednesday, 5 March 2014 09:35:59

Time for another parody, pastiche or homage...  Having experienced the sights of a host of, not daffodils, but snowdrops, I think a version of the famous poem is called for.  This is the opening verse:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

My first flow of words keeps the cloud crowd rhyme but elsewhere I haven't tried to do more than keep the sense and the rhythm:

We wandered neath the threatening clouds
That lowered above the branches
When all at once we saw a crowd
A host of silver snowdrops
Beneath the trees beyond the house
Bowing their heads to wind and rain



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