VALENTINE’S DAY, and writing love poetry
Now is the season of love poetry upon us, and I wonder who is thinking what, will you dip into your archives, type ‘love’ into your search engine and see what comes up? Or is it time to put e-pen to e-pad and knock out a new one about romance, trying to avoid all the cliches, and quotes from pop songs.
Looking to write something challenging, rapturous – in the vein of Carol Anne Duffy, or distant and memorial like Ted Hughes‘s Birthday Letters, or angry and passionate like Penelope Shuttle‘s Sandgrains and Hourglass. Just as Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar comes out on its 50th anniversary, we could be reading between the lines of Philip Larkin looking for his secret lover, the same goes for John Betjeman, the list of poets and their passion goes back to Robert Burns if not dear old Sappho. Or you could think of Nick Jarvis‘s poem about telling it like it is over making a cup of tea. What is love? Perhaps the easiest answer is: Don’t even ask!
So here’s an excerpt from one I’m working on, hardly romantic, you won’t find Romeo and Juliet quoting me here,
“… sticks are not for love
Lets be clear
Sticks – and stones – for that matter
Litter the pathways of love
With so much dead wood, and dead weight…”
from “That Time of Year” md
previous notes on “Poetry or Prose?”