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.

 

The jester

Sunday, 14 May 2017 10:20:45

Sunday, 14 May 2017 10:20:45

I've some jotted rhymes - mostly one which rely on the stressed 'est' syllable followed by a weak stress such as 'the' or 'a' or 'her'. For example, 'what possessed her' and 'blessed her'.

Treasue chest and nest give me the opportunity to play with a couple of comparisons... So something along these lines::

But I made a mess of it, I confess, a
Chance passed by. She was to me a treasure chest, the
The fanciest bird in the paradise nest, a
.......
she said, don’t know what possessed her,
“I liked you once but that was yester
Day.” .................... I blessed her
Sadder, wiser, no longer the jester.



Monday, 8 May 2017 11:38:59

Monday, 8 May 2017 11:38:59

Decisions made on word choices here and then further lines underlining the lost opportunity:

 

In my imagination, I’d met and caressed her

Obviously, I mentally undressed her - I

Should have seized my chance and kissed her

But I was going out with her sister

At the time.  

So I went east and she went west, a

 lost opportunity for a conquest, a

Fateful time ........

What could I do, could not arrest her!



The jester

Thursday, 4 May 2017 16:06:48

Thursday, 4 May 2017 16:06:48

I had a number of lines and half-lines penciled in for later in the poem but I've brought them forward to follow the second line below. Some decisions there to be made. I like the way 'going out with her sister' contrasts and adds more humour.

 

Patience much further.  But I missed her

Should I have risked it and kissed her?

In my (mind/thought/imagination/dreams) I’d met and caressed her

(Obviously, I) (Should I admit my thoughts) mentally undressed her

Should have seized my chance and kissed her

But I was going out with her sister

At the time.  



The jester

Thursday, 27 April 2017 9:20:25

Thursday, 27 April 2017 9:20:25

So, here's how it looks (and more importantly, sounds):

I met a girl and thought I’d impressed her

With my quick wit, my role as a jester

That lovely lass, the lass from Leicester

But…

Perhaps I might have guessed her

Sights were set much higher. Didn’t want to pester

So I sent a polite request to her

Not to annoy and not to test her

Patience much further. 

....What will happen next? A rhyme will suggest things to me but I won't let it dictate to me.



The jester

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:06:51

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:06:51

Take out 'eyes were elsewhere and substitute 'Sights were set much higher' as that gives it a context.

Then continue: 'Didn’t want to pester / So I sent a ...... request to her'

At any point I could mention that she was a lass from Leicester!



The jester

Friday, 21 April 2017 17:43:25

Friday, 21 April 2017 17:43:25

Some jottings while away...

She was surprised that I had addressed her
And I could see / should have guessed her
Eyes were elsewhere.

impressed her / distressed her / protester / pester 



Not the way you’re supposed to do things – but it makes a change.

Friday, 7 April 2017 15:01:15

Friday, 7 April 2017 15:01:15


‘Always begin with what you want to say and never let the rhyme decide for you.’  Well, what if I were to do the opposite?  I fancy writing a sound-based poem, probably for young readers (or listeners) but who knows?  

The word joker and the word jester came to me from some other work I was doing. I think one or the other might provide a host of interesting rhymes…  
I started looking at possible rhymes for joker:  poker  awoke her   choker   evoke a   cloak her   coca (cola)  soak a    woke her    yoke a   provoke a   stroke  broke a    smoker
Some interesting possibilities. Then I looked at rhymes for jester and thought, wow… there’s collection I can work with.  From Chester to zester, ‘impressed her’ to ‘request a’, plus all the near rhymes.


How might it start?
I met a girl and thought I’d impressed her
With my quick wit, my role as a jester...

(I feel a 'But....' coming on...)



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