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!

Another little piece of my past

Sunday, 3 May 2015 17:22:25

Sunday, 3 May 2015 17:22:25

Sometimes dad would meet us on the way
How glad we’d be as he
Slid the bags over the handlebars
And perched me on the saddle
As they walked the last half mile.

‘Put the kettle on, mother!’
Dad would say – and tho’ tea
Was hardly something I craved 
I was happy that they were happy
And that they made a special one for me.

I've been fiddling around with this a lot and still not sure about it. I like the link that a rhyme gives - it's a kind of musical thing, like returning to the home note.  So the tea and me is important.  I am tempted to insert 'while' somewhere in the middle of the previous verse.



Another piece of the past

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 14:02:14

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 14:02:14

I'm still collecting the memories together. Sometimes my dad would bike and meet us if we were walking from town. He'd perch me on the saddle, put mum's shopping bags on the handle bars and push the bike home. It was always good to see him.

He perched me on the saddle / As they walked the last half mile. (Looking back it wasn’t so far.)

‘Put the kettle on, mother!’ Dad would say – and it was nice / And tho’ I didn’t really like tea With sugar and condensed milk I was happy that everyone else did And that they made a special one for me.

How much detail to include? How much to omit?



Tuesday, 21 April 2015 09:21:05

Tuesday, 21 April 2015 09:21:05

All of which led me on to memories of Friday evenings...

On a Friday night.
There was the copper to fill
For the family bath
Taking turns to stand
On the hearth’s rag rug
As mum rubbed you down
Tired from the trip to Woking town.

Which memories to include, which omit? And within each memory, how much detail?  The rag rug, the copper seem enough. The copper wasn't made of copper but of cement as far as I recall and had a fire underneath which heated water which then had to be ladled into the bath!  No wonder my mum wanted a council house. 



Piece of the past

Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:29:34

Thursday, 16 April 2015 18:29:34

Or, instaed of all of us: For all our sakes

trhymes with aches and has the same meaning, or more.

Where did she walk?

Walking home with heavy bags
Down White Rose Lane
Or up Kettlewell Hill.

Or she might get the bus from outside the station:

The bus you got / you got from the station
If the time was right
With bags all full
From Woolworth’s and Timothy White’s

On Friday night.

(Woolworths was a major player in our shopping. Strange that it disappeared so rapidly. Timothy Whites and Taylors was taken over by Boots, I think. And Boots used to have its own (paid for) lending library. I think the 'better off' went there. Friday afternoon / evening was the traditional time to do the weekly shop, ready for the weekend. Milk and bread were delivered and you tried not to run out of other things as the shops were a good walk away.)



Another piece of the past

Sunday, 12 April 2015 16:34:38

Sunday, 12 April 2015 16:34:38

I don't know what made me remember this. However, the past is such a rich seam...   Part of something longer, I think:

When mum was young
She loved the fair
But in midlife
She blamed the rides
Holding her sides
For her back aches and pains
Or was it the shopping
for all of us
walking home, missed the bus...

 



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