Sunday, January 29, 2006

Poetry, Um, Yeah, Right

Up at some stupid hour (again) and it's bloody FREEZING.

Had a poem going round and round in my head and it had to be written down.

I'm studying poetry this year. I'm a pretty decent short-story writer and I know how to teach it, how to edit, how to judge. But poetry is a great big mystery to me. Sometimes a poem "hits" me (almost immediately) and I think, "Yeah!" but there are hundreds, thousands, that no matter how I try, nothing happens between my ears or in my gut.

I've had more than one poet read my stories and ask if I'm a poet. I have to say no.

But, my view of poetry now is like my view of short-stories years ago. In fact my view of anything literary. I remember reading Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" and thinking it was boring crap. Carver would have had me reaching for my cut-throat razor.

It's not that these things are an acquired taste. It's more about loosening up and learning to read, learning to see.

Cotswold Closes Tuesday

For those who don't know, The Cotswold Prize is Stories and Shorts MIXED. That is the £500 winner could be either. I emailed the organisers a week or so ago and have only just heard. I shall enter cos I'm a sucker, but it feels strange.

A STORY (correction) won last year. Does that increase the likelihood of a poem winning this year?

The closing date is Tuesday 31st so get your poems/stories in the post tomorrow.

Here's a few prompts,the Sunday morning batch from Boot Camp. And Don't forget the 7th Quark Frantic Flash this coming weekend.

Frost on Sunday

Listening to Chimes

He Parked His Car and Walked Away

A Long, Hot Bath, a Glass of Sherry

The Difference Between a Long Poem and a Short Story

Dressing for Her Suicide

Blink Verse

Scrabble, Fall

Capel, Chapel, Church, Des Three-Bed

And dirty thugs unchained just for the game

Sylvia Plath's Cat.

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