Not many people come to writing through necessity. I needed a poem about disability for a church service. Not being able to find one, I wrote one. It was an awful poem, full of cheesy alliteration, and will never be seen or heard again.
Something in the doing of that poem ignited a new (for me) form of self-expression. Poems came spasmodically at first and then in a flood. Between 1992 and 2000ish, I must have written 500. They were autobiographical and shared only with those closest to me. They spoke when I could not. Literally could not.
For some months, some years ago, my voice box could only sustain a whisper. I developed a stammer, in part I think from the awkwardness of not being able to be heard. A lovely NHS speech therapist helped me through all that, though my vocal power never fully recovered.
Since starting the BA course, I’ve enjoyed writing in all forms, and poetry has seeped into the style of my prose. Perhaps, for me, that will be the best reason to scratch away at a poem now and again.
But I find poetry hard work in terms of art, craft and emotional cost.
I meet three friends – proper poets – once a month and we critique each other’s work. I enjoy reading poetry, and I enjoy listening to it. I’m delighted to be involved with Beeston Poets – if you live in or near Nottinghamshire, come to an event, Martin Figura will be performing ‘Whistle’, 5th July, 7.30pm. Award winning, not to be missed.
Now I’m pretty excited about that because he’s very good, and the more poetry I hear, the more I’m inspired to write it. Contemporary poets shake my box and tip me out for a while. Let loose, my words make little forays into freedom and away from conventionality. Sadly, I appear to be attached to the inside of the box by bungee elastic, so on the rebound I fall back in and the lid slams shut.
Oh, that’s provoked an earworm…
Hmm, Poetry Group meeting at mine this Friday….