Since I started teaching at Polytech (sounds so official, doesn’t it?), I’ve had to re-immerse myself in the hundreds of writing exercises that I’ve collected. Which has been good – I’m finally starting to write again, even if only quite minor poems. At least I’m writing. And it feels good! So, so good.
One thing I learned to do at Glamorgan was to use a journal to keep clippings, snippets of info, odd words etc. And as a place to collate any research I did in the process of writing. A blog sounds like the perfect place to do that sort of thing. Who knows, it may even be useful to someone else (if it is, drop me a line and let me know!)
Anyway, the recent exercise I’ve set myself is based on a gorgeous (and disturbingly sexy) poem by one of the Glamorgan tutors, Chris Meredith. (Hi Chris!) It’s based on a tradition in Welsh poetry of writing a poem to accompany an object that you send to a loved one. (At least, I think that’s what it was … he explained it to us as about three am one delightfully sozzled Ty Newydd night-cum-morning.) A small quote, to whet your appetite:
from Electric razor
Go, my little goat, and graze
those pastures where I’d spend my days.
Go and nip the turfs among
the landscape that I’d stroke and tongue […]
As I said, disturbingly sexy. So that was (and still is) my challenge: pick an object to send to an absent beloved, and write a poem to accompany it.
My choice? A spoon.
Yes, I know. We’re in semi-automatic laugh territory. But think about it for a few minutes, and you’ll start to see the possibilities. (I wasn’t consciously thinking of Welsh Love-spoons when I picked my item, but presumably they were prodding my subconscious.)