Wednesday, October 26, 2011

poetry snapshots special: brian evans-jones's poetry 20:20

This month, I've been enjoying a daily poem by poet and creative writing tutor Brian Evans-Jones, so I invited him over to my delayed reactions, along with a poem, to talk about his October poetry project.

This poem was written on Friday 7th.



Half five,
the alarm clock
machine guns sleep. Bedroom
black as a bin with lid pressed tight.
Woman


sandbagged,
bunkered in dreams.
He coughs, curses, rises.
No point washing: sweat will oil him
all day.


Red cig
lights a flare path
down the stairs. The kids breathe,
dervishes on hold. Here’s his kit:
thick boots


the weight
of half-lost dreams;
trousers that hiss his steps;
his yellow wasp’s coat. One quick brew,
and go.


Cold bites
like a puppy
learning its lock. He jogs,
joins the wan swarm at the depot,
laughing.





The poems are going up on Facebook at Brian Evans-Jones's Poetry 20:20. Please send a request to join if you'd like to come and read them. For more about the rationale and progress, see Brian's blog.


Brian says: 'Poetry 20:20 is a project I'd been mulling over for a few months and finally decided to do. The basic concept is simple: for four weeks in October, I write a new poem every day, Monday to Friday - making 20 poems in all.

However, because I prefer doing things that are not just difficult but really really difficult, I also decided to set myself a whole other set of constraints: 15 in all, 5 relating to subject matter and prompts, 5 to form, and 5 to style. So most days a poem conforms to 3 constraints, in addition to the simple one of being written at all.

Why set myself such a daft task? Several reasons. Firstly, I've been through a year when I had very little time to write, and now that's over I want to take on something big.

Secondly, perhaps because I hadn't been writing very often, I felt that my poetry had become stuck in a rut of sameness. So I set the constraints to make sure that I would be forced to do other things.

And lastly, because I just want to see if I can do it! So far it's going well: I'm enjoying the pressure and am pleasantly surprised at the quality of what I can produce in just 1 to 2 hours' work.

I'm also reaping some benefits that I didn't anticipate: a big boost in my negative capability, for example, since day after day a chaotic process magically turns into a complete poem. Also a burgeoning ability to cut, quickly and cleanly, to the heart of what I want to write about, without getting hung up on small issues.

Without a doubt, writing a daily poem is something I would heartily recommend.'








Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brian Evans-Jones's Poetry 20:20






Poetry 20:20 is a project I'd been mulling over for a few months and finally decided to do. The basic concept is simple: for four weeks in October, I write a new poem every day, Monday to Friday - making 20 poems in all. However, because I prefer doing things that are not just difficult but really really difficult, I also decided to set myself a whole other set of constraints: 15 in all, 5 relating to subject matter and prompts, 5 to form, and 5 to style. So most days a poem conforms to 3 constraints, in addition to the simple one of being written at all.





Why set myself such a daft task? Several reasons. Firstly, I've been through a year when I had very little time to write, and now that's over I want to take on something big. Secondly, perhaps because I hadn't been writing very often, I felt that my poetry had become stuck in a rut of sameness. So I set the constraints to make sure that I would be forced to do other things. And lastly, because I just want to see if I can do it! So far it's going well: I'm enjoying the pressure and am pleasantly surprised at the quality of what I can produce in just 1 to 2 hours' work. I'm also reaping some benefits that I didn't anticipate: a big boost in my negative capability, for example, since day after day a chaotic process magically turns into a complete poem. Also a burgeoning ability to cut, quickly and cleanly, to the heart of what I want to write about, without getting hung up on small issues. Without a doubt, writing a daily poem is something I would heartily recommend.





The poems are going up on Facebook at Brian Evans-Jones's Poetry 20:20: http://www.facebook.com/groups/256892244350029/. Please send a request to join if you'd like to come and read. For more about the rationale and progress, see my blog at www.brianevansjones.com.





This poem was written on Friday 7th.









Thursday, October 13, 2011

poetry snapshots: farhan khan



For A Few Coins



Shambling along a dirt road,

I come across a pauper girl,

not older than six or seven --

skinny, tanned, in ragged clothes.

She is readying herself

for her amusement trick

to earn some money

off the passers-by.



There is a five-meter tightrope

stretched, half a meter from the ground,

between two short wooden poles.

The girl now walks along it, slowly,

carefully balancing,

encouraged by the clapping and wiggling

of the gathering crowd.



Do they see her tired face,

no light in her eyes?

Do they notice how thin

her stretched little arms are?



Two quick last steps,

and she plunges to the ground

to collect the scattered coins

with speed and zeal.





Farhan, a young poet from the tiny town,Budaun of the vicinity of Uttar Pradesh, India, is doing his Masters of Arts in English Literature from Rohil Khand University, Bareilly. His picturesque poems make a film in the reader’s mind, taking the reader into the abode of palpable emotions to touch the bottom of their heart. His early poems have been placed in an International Online Journal known as Kritya, which is published from Kerala, India, and in several other ezines. He has a blog where  a few of his poems can be read by clicking on this link-http://farhanpoetry.blogspot.com/