I am a writer of poetry, but an appreciator of all different forms of literature. I enjoy reading classical and modern novels as well as Science Fiction. I currently live in Surrey in the South of England.
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Seasonal salutations to everyone, even people who may not have even the slightest interest in poetry, but may have through some tremendous twist of fate somehow stumbled upon my blog. I hope you have all had a very merry holly jolly Christmas. Or Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Or whatever it is you may celebrate during December! Anyway, it is past the magical day now, and I thought I'd introduce a very typically optimistic (Ha!) poem for the New Year. Maybe, if you're lucky I'll write something happy. Maybe I'll make that my New Year's resolution. I. Must. Write. Happier. Poems. I don't think I'd have the guts to stick with it, though. Never mind... I shall try one or two, just for my numerous (oh dear) and dedicated (that's even more of a lie) readers. Stick with me, honestly, and you just never know - I might end up with hundreds.
All jokes aside, this following poem could be a lot happier, but I was reading a lot of Yeats at the time and he tends to have rather adverse effects on me. The intention of the poem was to focus on how from year to year people cannot feel themselves noticeably change, and the repetitive farce of the New Year's resolution itself (this ties into what I was saying earlier - check out the continuity) in that people attempt to change themselves on one day every year. They might: stop smoking, stop drinking, start going to the gym or any number of unrealistic ideals. Changing yourself takes time and effort, the feeling that one might be able to do this immediately because their calendar needed replacing is ridiculous: in my mind, anyway.
To avoid further ranting and allow some time to placate myself, I shall now deliver my newest poem.
New Year and No Change
New year and no change. What remains? Old fears That just rearrange? Habitual veneers
Occur and recur, Exhausting resolve: Until one incurs Their joyless dissolve.
Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, and have a happy new year (or if you're Chinese, you'll have to wait until February - I'm sorry).
I'm sorry! It's been a long time since my last post, and I have no excuse other than that I have been working full-time for the first time in my life and am constantly tired. I know, I really am that pathetic. Anyway, I thought as a way to make up for my lengthy absence, I'd focus on an entirely different form of poetry. A form I am quite new to writing, but love reading.
The Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry, made up of 17 syllables, or mora, the Japanese term for phonetic units similar to the Western syllables (although not entirely the same). The Haiku writing in ancient Japan was limited to the literary elite, but now the form is incredibly widespread, with thousands of western poets practising the art of Haiku writing exclusively. Haiku are often attractive to writers because of their simplicity, the poet Ezra Pound wrote the Haiku-like poem 'In the Station of the Metro' after repeatedly attempting to create a longer poem, but finding the meaning was best preserved in the concise Haiku form.
The typical Western Haiku is recognised as being separated into three seperate lines (the first being five syllables, the second seven syllables, and the third five again). This is just an English technique, however, as all Japanese Haiku were originally written as one sentence.
Through trying to write Haiku I discovered that, personally, I find they are quite different to other poetic forms. The majority of Western poetic forms seem to begin with inspiration, but then require deliberation and planning for the poem itself to take shape. Haiku almost seem to work out best when written completely spontaneously, however, perhaps visited at a later time, but written without overthinking - as they should use simple language and expression. Without further ado, though, here is my most recent Haiku:
Ocean of Silence
I’m open, a can Pouring into the Ocean - Of silence: alone.
I think for someone to write, be it as a pastime or as a profession, they must have two things: the ambition and the inspiration. I do not believe that one of these must precede the other, however; for if initially you have the ambition, then the inspiration will find you, and if you have the inspiration then the drive will certainly follow.
The real trouble occurs after you've achieved these two objectives (at least that is what I have experienced). What I often find, even after writing frequently, is that I struggle to determine where to begin: with writing poetry, there is so much versatility that someone could easily be plagued with too much choice in how to express their primary inspiration. I always intend to identify the tone I want my poem to possess, and I come to this by analysing my topic. For example, if I was to write a Romantic poem regarding nature, it would be an uplifting topic and therefore the choice of structure and language would need to reflect this. A typical example could be John Clare's famous Sonnet, where the strict structure, language and rhyme is representative of the calm, relaxed theme of the poem - concentrating on the careful selection of each word to convey his exact emotions.
Alternatively, many modern poets choose free verse, not restricted by syllable limits or rhyme schemes, it places more emphasis on the word choice and literary devices used - meaning that for certain poets who wish to capture a very simple thought or idea, free verse might be most appropriate.
The following poem is a simple one, it plays with imagery and has a nature oriented theme, although about what I don't think i'll say. At first I thought the poem was fairly obvious to interpret, but after many people gave me their own private ideas, I decided not to disclose my original thoughts as it seemed to detract from what they identified with the writing. The poem is primarily free verse, but structured by three line stanzas and a scheme of half rhymes at the end of each stanza. This left me free to play with words and literary devices (specifically enjambement) but still maintaining a form of structure keeping the poem simplistic and the imagery sharp.
That Which Is Most Blue
I’m in love With that which is Most blue.
That which above Is a white balloon, and A lie untrue.
That which is shoved Each month by a new moon, And has a life renewed
Each night. The glove For the watery hand of Rain, possessor of infinite virtue.
I’m in love With that which is Most blue.
If anyone would like to leave a comment regarding their interpretations/opinions of what they feel my poems are about, then they would be greatly appreciated. If you would wish to contact me regarding my writing then my e-mail address is listed on the left-hand side of this page.
Earlier on this year I went away to Hong Kong and Australia with my parents to meet my brother, who was then living in Australia. I have always enjoyed travelling, but was especially looking forward to seeing Hong Kong due to it's Chinese heritage (despite being more commonly thought of as a British colony). However, when I got to Hong Kong I was a little disappointed, it really was a bustling city and I could barely move in the streets. It was something else, though, I felt as if the whole place really had been entirely Anglicised, and even the Chinese people living in the city (who were in the majority) still dressed in Western clothing labels and supported Britsh Football teams and American Baseball teams!
The pinnacle of these feelings occurred when I sat down to watch the nightly Festival of Lights show, which involves the main corporate buildings on Hong Kong island revealing that they have been equipped with searchlights, neon lights and lasers! The introduction came on in English first, then Mandarin, further showing the extent to which Western culture had infiltrated a country so far in the East. After watching the show, I wrote this poem, which documents how I felt upset that a country once so rich in culture, was now attempting to emulate that of Europe and America, rather than preserving it's own. I even felt angry at England for initially forcing our beliefs upon Hong Kong just because at the time the English were one of the dominant world powers.
I believe that the frustration comes through the poem in the language. I chose to use free verse rather than a set structure to give me a little more freedom to write, partly due to influences from modern British poets I was reading at the time (Hugo William, Simon Armitage). Do not, though, let me give you the impression that I did not like Hong Kong! I was disappointed from one perspective only, and apart from that the city is a vibrant metropolis, and I strongly urge anyone who has an opportunity to visit.
P.S. This photo is not taken from Jack Stevens's portfolio, it is instead a photo that I feel perfectly captures the light show and is therefore most appropriate for this poem!
Hong Kong Festival of Lights March 30th 2007
An angry Sun Crashes into the Big Blue Drink.
Artificial lights Turn to fight off The onset of swollen clouds
As bullets of water Fly towards city people, Targeted.
But who are these People? Faces contrast With country –
And the landscape Swells with disgust Against the abhorrent buildings.
Thousands of miles East, people who fit Their culture sit
Around dining room tables, As tourists observe The deceased, and the
Reborn. But places Can never be reborn, They alter and
Change, without Hope of redemption. Of finding
Who they once Were. Of finding what is now – Lost.
This is just a note to say that all photography featured on this website is courtesy of Jack Stevens, a very talented photographer. Anyone who wishes to see more of his work should contact me via my e-mail address and I shall let him know you are interested.
I thought that being my first week I'd just add two short poems to this blog. My intention is to add one or two poems a week, however, this is rather more enjoyable than I previously anticipated, and seeing as it is my first week I am allowing myself one exception.
These two poems are both very short, but that does not mean they are lacking in content. The first is rather self-explanatory, and also semi-autobiographical. The simplicity of the poem, and the slight comedic tone I drew from my reading of Wendy Cope (if you enjoy this first poem, then check up on her poetry collection entitled 'Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis' [incidentally, if you haven't read any Kingsley Amis either, then I strongly advise his most famous novel - 'Lucky Jim' - which is slightly outdated, but still very funny]).
You’re tinny And faint. Eloquent without Constraint. But you’re gone, A puff of smoke, Disappearing Like a joke Told once And forgotten. Suddenly I Hit the bottom. I guess I shouldn’t Ring your answering machine Twelve times- Between 8pm, and 8:15.
This second poem is rather more open to interpretation. The first stanza I will explain for anyone struggling, but the link to the second is tenuous, even when I explain it myself. Despite the difficulty in understanding, I have come to understand that people enjoy this poem more than any other I have written because of the sound and imagery, and I do, in fact, prefer not to explain the poem, I wish for each reader to develop their own interpretations and understandings - so that the poem might become more personal to them.
The title only relates to where this is written ABOUT, it was not written in southern Spain, nor did I write it any time near my holiday there. It is titled Southern Spain because it is where I began to understand that 'liking' a member of the opposite sex is never going to be simple, and that as soon as you admit that you have strong feelings for someone is when that love begins to become troublesome. The main reflection here is that someone can walk down a crowded street in the beautiful Andalucian city Granada, and see someone else that they find immediately so intoxicating that they cannot look anywhere but at that person, let alone think of anything else. This 'love' is the purest form of love (in my opinion) as it can never go wrong with arguments or infidelity, it is wonderful, unspoken, and more often that not, entirely unrequited. There is not even heartbreak, as the love experienced at that moment has disappeared after only a few hours, despite it's intensity!
I was in love this Morning: But forgot by this Afternoon.
I saw the Grace of God Outshone - by the Light of the Moon.
The second stanza is up to you! I hope you enjoy. RIWC