Sunday, September 27, 2009

Monday poem

So – today’s TFE Monday poem exercise I found a bit harder than the others, I always think they’re too hard when I first read them, and say to myself “You needn’t do that one, don’t bother” but then can’t resist doing something when it comes to it.
Anyway, trying to write a poem based on my response to another person’s poem(s) was, I found, a bit uncomfortable. Here is the result below – inspired by a recent event in my life (see yesterday’s post), and with the structure kind of stolen from, and the whole thing heavily influenced by, the first Ted Hughes poem – The Thought-Fox.
I wasn’t too strict on the no of syllables, my lines are a good bit longer, but kept kind of to the same pattern of rhymes (ended up with some more Rhymes than our Ted, not saying I’m a better poet, but… like) and kept strictly to the punctuation; (apart from one little dash that I couldn’t do without) an interesting experiment for me – and it was a bit constraining at times, would have liked a few more commas, overall am happy with how the poem looks on the page – (cos it looks just like a Ted Hughes poem!) Anyway – disaster or delicious – I’ll let you be the judge of that…

24 comments:

Uiscebot said...

Nice Poem - I would have stayed in the car.

Niamh B said...

Thanks, but you wouldn't - with the hazards dying, and imagined Longford psychos queueing up to come and knock on the window, or drive into me on the narrow hard shoulder, and no power in the car to go anywhere, not even sure if I'd have been able to beep the horn by then... It's hard to know what is the exact right thing to do in those situations. You just make a choice and go with it.

Uiscebot said...

Yeah I hear ya. If it was a dangerous spot on the road with no hazards then I'd be all for moving on.

the watercats said...

Nice poem! :-) It was interesting that you went about the challenge in quite a technical way, using the grammar etc.. never thought of trying this with things, could be a really interesting excersize, a bit like covering songs (it's always great to try and do them as differently as possible, but makes you realise different writing forms)... I enjoyed the urban-ness of this.. and the fact you were a bit afraid of the killer Irish carnivores, lol! Cheers !

Niamh B said...

Tks Watercats, yeah it felt a little like cheating, stealing something that I presume grew organically for Ted and just worked well... but it was better, I felt, than just copying the idea for the poem itself, which was what I would have done otherwise.
Irish hedgerow animals can be very scary when they like! LOL

swiss said...

no, i rather like this, esp having the last post and knowing where it's come from. i like the fact you've tried to keep soem of the rhythms and rhyming in - made it difficult for yourself!

i never think about this sort of thing being a response to another person's poem, more a set of circumstances or maybe a couple of words. it's hard enough coming up woth something to write about!

beedlemama said...

Lordy, like the poem - back to the fire. You are very brave. (also v. impressed with your knight in shining armour, romance is NOT dead!)

Niamh B said...

Tks Swiss, yeah, a few constraints do wonders for creativity, forcing yourself to look for words you wouldn't have otherwise looked for.
I suppose there's any number of ways of taking inspiration, from a word or an idea, or whatever, just when I tried to respond to the poem itself I really stalled! (Sorry bad joke gate open again)
Thanks BM, yeah I was pretty damn impressed as well, there was no hesitation, just a reassuring "I'm on my way" romantic Ireland's alive and well and living in connemara.

Rachel Fox said...

You made it hard for yourself (we're such masochists!)! I like the getting back to the light, the nodding ditches, the 'old'...and it almost makes me want to see what would happen if you rewrote it without the writing-like-Ted instruction to self. Just to compare really.
x

Titus said...

Ooh, now this impressed me, and it worked even with all the masochistic constraints you put on yourself! The central section is very good.

Niamh B said...

Thanks Rachel - I think of it more as play than masochism! Not sure what it'd be like if it weren't modelled on Ted, you have me wondering now too... will update if I try it.
Thanks a mill Titus! (tho again it might only be good because of rather than in spite of the constraints!)

Jeanne Iris said...

Niamh, you met your challenge(s) with fine determination and the result is....Success! I enjoyed reading your adaptation of Hughes' work. Particularly liked the image of 'ditches nodding.' Isn't that just like them? Thank you!

Totalfeckineejit said...

An interesting take on the exercise, Mrs Niamh, and I have to say I think it worked out really well.There's a palpable air of tension bordering on fear(as there was for me in Ted's poems ) the rhymes link but don't interfere and I really like the title!The power of the dark is amazing! We are everything in the light and only ourselves in the dark.

Niamh B said...

Thank you too Jeanne, I enjoyed doing it, was constricting but also kind of enjoyable having a framework to follow.
Thanks TFE - a tough challenge, and you're right darkness and light have such a huge effect on us, like tiredness and energy, it's weird what fragile little things we really are, how we're so at the mercy of time and our feelings. Thanks again for another interesting week, and a reason to like mondays, a little bit anyway...

Domestic Oub said...

Heya Niamh.

Which poem do you prefer? If I were to take ht pepsi challenge, I think I prefer the non-ted version... but that might just be becuase I know your style and like it... Either way, both poems rock!

ps - glad you were rescued.

Niamh B said...

Tks Oub, that's a tough question. I like the Ted cos it's so different to my norm, but it feels like an imposter too, doesn't feel fully mine, like i'd prob have to split the winnings with him if it won a huge prize... so maybe I should side with the one that's all my own.
Thanks anyway!
And yeah - nice that I made it back to regale you all with this mountain I have managed to produce from a mole hill!! - see next post for more broken car inspired genius.... LOL

Dominic Rivron said...

Definitely prefer the first version. There's something about the formality of the poem which heightens the tension. Reminded me of a similar situation I found myself in in the middle of nowhere in the dark. Had 2 toddlers strapped in the back. I felt, for a few moments, totally at a loss...

Niamh B said...

Thanks Dominic, appreciate that feedback, maybe I should do that more often... AND what a nightmare situation as well!! Goes to show life is full of challenges, they don't only come from TFE.

Totalfeckineejit said...

They are both good and both different, I think I still prefer 'the feel' of the first, the air of tension as you 'quicken heels' but then 'lucozade coloured streets' is too good a line to waste.Could you cut and paste the two poems together into some kind of hybrid genius?

Argent said...

I was quietly (ok, loudly) envious of your first Ted-like poem but I did love
Jumps
The things that go bump,
Lumps in the darkened hedges that are more afraid of you, you hope.
The repertition of the "umps" sound was very onomatapoeic (prob'ly spelt wrong!)

Niamh B said...

TFE: I know I said I had too much time on my hands, but really!!! (What a slave driver! Poor Mrs Eejit)
Thanks Argent, very kind onomatapoeic looks like a fine spelling to me, I got what you mean, and anyway, we're poets, WE ARE THE LAW, we made the rules, and we made em to be broken! Bwa hahahaha

Niamh B said...

There it's done - the monster hybrid poem is born... Poetry boot camp is over for another week... PHEW

Emerging Writer said...

Very impressed with the rhyming and rhythm echo of Ted. I do think the last version improves the previous too, but that's usually what happens with rewriting, no?

Niamh B said...

Thanks Emerging. Does this mean the secret to good work is HARD work? Say it ain't so!