from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Sunday, 12 May 2013

not writing about spring, again - with request

I set this for my much-loved poetry group yesterday. It proved exciting and stimulating; inspired some wonderfully creative new work.

It occurred to me that those of you who write creatively might enjoy this mild left-field approach to (not) writing about spring, too. Here's the challenge: follow the suggestions below, and I'll publish a few of the most original short pieces on here if you'd like to send them in.

1: make a list of all the nouns, adjectives and verbs you can think of that you might use to describe spring

2: write a first draft of a short piece, poem or creative prose, nominally about spring – that does not include any of those words :-) (think instead perhaps about a different metaphor/symbol/image you could use for spring; or maybe write up from your own history: a personal memory of an event one spring, or something that happened more globally in a spring time)

3: copy out this first draft onto a sheet of A4 leaving a line-space between each line

4: intervene with this in a way that makes you think more laterally. What I asked the poets to do yesterday was either to write between the lines, literally; or to tear the page in half vertically and re-match phrases horizontally by lining up the halves in a different place, and allowing your imagination to take flight with new ways of combining words; or to cut up the lines and rearrange them (or a combination of these suggestions). The idea is to look for happy and surprising conjunctions. Subverting our habitual thinking patterns and channels allows fresh insight and new synergies to appear

5: redraft, looking as always for tightening.

If you would like to send these in to me, please keep them brief! I don't know how much wordage the Comment box will allow. Guidelines are no more than 10-14 lines for a poem and 100-150 words for prose; if poetry, please use the single slash / for line breaks and the double // for stanza breaks. 

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