Apocalypse Poem

Don’t stop and let me off

By SB

 

The force that kept me on my feet

now is causing my days to lengthen.

The year’s long day of so much heat.

The nightmare of the lasting darkness.

 

Life giving waters that flow away from us.

Now group at the far north and south.

We must mass and move to new countries upon

Sea-less equator that none can own.

Land that was once deep sea is the only

home left to those of loss.

 

The forces whose core carried on

to quake and rip our towers of pride.

The moon that left us for mercury,

centrifugal gravity abandoned.

 

Beta-blocked gravity sicken us more

than ever life’s spin could have.

So, away we must flee, for the sea

who rises up, swallow Northern-hemisphere

and her friend Australasia disappear.

 

I pray for 1,040 miles per hour a day.

 

 

(apocalypse poem– about the earth’s rotation slowing)maxresdefault

The Prize-winning Poem

The Prize-winning Poem

It will be typed, of course, and not all in capitals: it will use upper

and lower case

in the normal way; and where a space is usual it will have a space.

It will probably be on white paper, or possibly blue, but almost

certainly not pink.

It will not be decorated with ornamental scroll-work in coloured ink,

nor will a photograph of the poet be glued above his or her name,

and still less a snap of the poet’s children frolicking in a jolly game.

The poem will not be about feeling lonely and being fifteen

and unless the occasion of the competition is a royal jubilee it will

not be about the queen.

It will not be the first poem the author has written in his life

and will probably not be about the death of his daughter, son or wife

because although to write such elegies fulfils a therapeutic need

in large numbers they are deeply depressing for the judges to read.

The title will not be ‘Thoughts’ or ‘Life’ or ‘I Wonder Why’

or ‘The Bunny-rabbit’s Birthday Party’ or ‘In Days of Long Gone By’.

‘Tis and ‘twas, o’er and e’er, and such poetical contractions will not be

found

in the chosen poem. Similarly cliche´s will not abound:

dawn will not herald another bright new day, nor dew sparkle like

diamonds in a dell,

nor trees their arms upstretch. Also the poet will be able to spell.

Large meaningless concepts will not be viewed with favour: myriad is

out;

infinity is becoming suspect; aeons and galaxies are in some doubt.

Archaisms and inversions will not occur; nymphs will not their fate

bemoan.

Apart from this there will be no restrictions upon the style or tone.

What is required is simply the masterpiece we’d all write if we could.

There is only one prescription for it: it’s got to be good.

 

Fleur Adcock

 

Adcock, Fleur (1983) Selected Poems, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

A love Poem

1          Love poem

 

My butterfly life, never settling with the flower of a wife,

I wonder if I am capable of true love or if I am cursed to wonder.

How my arms ache to hold, how my lips burn to kiss

But, I do not want a butterfly wife.

I don’t want a pretty little miss who doesn’t mind who she kisses,

I am a man who needs a real wife.

 

I am a man with a butterfly life. I am not a gypsy,

nor travelling salesman who sells potions and lotions from door to door.

I do not hunt for a wife only long for a love.

I don’t just want some other cute young tipsy,

nor a woman who has a tendency to mother.

I don’t want women who constantly smother or call you guilty.

 

 

Oh my butterfly life I need an anchor.

Life so fleeting, that it is constantly moving and never settles too long.

I have been through so many changes and have had so many stages.

Some say I am pretty, and for my flesh hanker.

Say that I am infamous, that I’m famous, because I own many pages.

Oh, but, I am also lonely, and desire only her.

 

by S.Bryant

3366693-silhouette-of-butterfly-on-a-black-and-white-background

Worst poem ever

i-am-not-logo

Haha, (evil laughter) the task set to our class this week was to write the worst poem ever to illustrate what a poem should not be. so….

 Poorly poem

Yer, well it has been written

And it ani’t got real words in places

Some odd stanza brakes like a lot of bad poet’s mistakes

Every line starts with a capital letter and the punctuation is all over the place and it has mixed pace so you sound as if you have been training for a marathon race by the time you have got though and read to the end of the line.

Also Kev and I think is a crime not to have some kind of rhyme.

Your getting stressed about the stresses and iambic meter which you don’t know if that’s AABB or ABAB C

And well, it just

Ends.

But, it never actually ends cause you read it to your friends and they have to say well that was nice but it lacks a little in places and they have fake smiles on their faces.

So ya think you have a gooden and you send it to the Guardian and they don’t even email back and just, just, don’t know if you should have never got out of bed.

Then forget what your tutor said about cliché use and do it all again

Repeat the pain until you are a poet.

And you didn’t even know it.

Looking at Mark Hearld

Mark Hearld studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art and then completed an MA in Natural History Illustration at the Royal College of Art, London. His work is based on his observations of the natural world, influenced by mid twentieth century Neo-Romanticism and the gaiety of 1930s Modernism.

mark herald-linos

Outside Your Window is a book of poems and writing for children by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld.  It is full of Mark’s lovely linocuts, lithographs and collage. Combining these medium gives a movement and life to the images and compliment the type of poems Nicola writes really well.

I hope to use this way of working to help me develop my own style and character in the images.

 

MHponddipping

I have attempted to illustrate the Sonnet 130 by William shakespeare, my favorite line being “black wire grows on her head.” getting the hang of working from light to dark tone was a challenge. You don’t think about it normally the fact we are used to starting with a white piece of paper then add color and dark to it. In lino printing we have to work backwards. yes and the words backwards too. You can laugh at me now because i totally forgot and nearly ruined a good hours work. oops

DSC_0022

 

Top Essay Mate

Well its coming to that time of year again. GCSE’s for the UK’s youth meant that today I was helping an English class. With the permission of the author, I would love to share this great essay. The girl has dyslexia, but still managed to get this baby done in the two hours and a bit lesson.

Nice one!

Explore the way poets present their feelings about relationships, January 2014.

The three poems I have chosen to explore are; ‘He wishes for the cloths of heaven’ by W.B. Yeats, ‘Our Love Now’ by Martyn Lowery and ‘Song for Last Year’s wife’ by Brian Patten.

I feel that each of these poems share with us different stages a relationship can face. I enjoy these poems because I can relate to these poets feelings and the expressing of the way they feel about certain relationship. The poets have chosen relevant imagery to help portray the emotional events they are going though. Each poet gives us a different motivation for his connection in the relationship; idolising a new love, a needy and possessive love and a deeply missed older love. All the poets explore their emotional needs for the attachment to the other person and the effects it has on the mind.

W.B. Yeats has the shorter poem, but has the most emotional gravity of my chosen three.’ He wishes for the cloths of heaven’ speaks to me of a man embarking on a new relationship. To me it’s imaginative language talks of the man’s hopes, and dreams with his love. These dreams verse his awareness that in reality he has very little to offer her. Lines one to five he talks as if half dreaming but in line 4 he begins to slow the pace down, readying us for the reality in lines six to eight. Yeats says in line one ‘had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths’ then in line six ‘but I, being poor, have only my dreams;’ as if to say “had I got the world to give you I would but I only have what I hope to become to offer to you.” We all have the best intentions at the start of a relationship and Yeats gives us a beautiful metaphor of how this made him feel. For a poem that is only one stanza of eight lines, he gives a huge amount of imagery. He uses his imagination with brilliant effect. Helping us feel as he did.

Yeast’s declaration of love in the first five lines is full of glorious language, painting us a picture in our minds of how magnificent this love would be if it were tangible. ‘The clothes of heaven’ to me speaks of a highly sacred thing to have ‘Enwrought with gold and silver light’ impresses the image of the sun and moon even the stars. The use of gold and silver to describe the kind of light, lends to the image the value of these precious metals. Knowing how people wish to possess the riches and beauties of gold and silver. Yeats is saying, “This is how much I want to possess her love”.  Gold light like the sunrise and silver light of moon remind us of the heavens. Of how precious natural light is to life on this planet.   We long for the warmth of the sun and revel in the way the moon’s cool light can change the look of things. We look to and wish upon the stars things that are unknown to us or not yet in our life. Yeat’s one line says, “I value her love so highly, it is in likeness to the value of light its self”

Reality begins to creep into our poet’s dream of love. When he talks to us in lines three and four of ‘dim and dark’ and of ‘night and light and half light’ on first reading, it is the many shades of blue that this cloth displays. However, it is also Yeats hinting to the reality that life is not clear. There are highlights and dark times too. Yeats acknowledges this only to say that even in those unclear moments I would still wish to be with you. Line four forces us to slow down reading as Yeats ends his dream with ‘I would spread the cloth under your feet’ meaning; “this is my love for you and it is at your mercy I fall”. To lay something so wonderful and beautiful at the feet of another is an act of submission by our poet. I find it reminiscent of the acts of romance novels; when a gentleman might lay his cloak over the ground so his maiden will not get her feet dirty. A gallant act of love is evidence of how he values her over himself and all other things. Line five ends in a colon to inform the reader what follows explains and describes his thoughts. Yeats list in the final three lines the honesty and truthful facts of his situation. Line six is a dream crushing honest statement ‘but I, being poor, have only my dreams;’ the gravity of his statement brings us out of the heaven down to reality. Yeats tells us that he has very little to offer her. I feel when Yeats says ‘my dreams;’ that he clues to hoping to give her more as he achieves his aspirations over time. It reminds me of a part in Christian wedding vows; “all that I am I give to you and all that I have I share with you”. He is offering up all that he has and in line seven spreads this under her feet. In line seven is the act of what he intended to do in line five. He had said ‘I would’ now he is saying ‘I have’. His hopes and dreams he is willing to sacrifice for whatever she wishes of him. In some way, she has become his hope and dream. Yeats ends with a plea for mercy ‘Tread softly’ he asks of her. As if looking up from having literally spread the dreams at her feet he explains ‘because you tread on my dreams’. Yeats is saying “you have the power to crush all that I am and change all that I may become, so I beg you, be gentle” the poet at this point acknowledges how vulnerable he has made himself. We can only imagine what her reply would be.

The poem is a declaration of love and a testimony of how much we are willing to give for the possession of true love.

In contrast to Yeats’s “love” the poem ‘Our Love Now’ by Martyn Lowery, is about a possessive love and the poet wishing not to surrender it. Both poets plead with a lover to have a commitment and be in her life. Lowery’s poem can be read as a conversation where he says and she responds of as a rant where he argues and she defends. The outcome is the same; their love is ‘forever dead’. I like how having the two sides’ converse gives the poem a very real modern relationship feeling. Even as I read it, I can hear the two sides in different voices. The poet has been cleaver to write the stanzas in two columns so we can see and read, “I said” vs. “she said”. From the first glance, this gives us a sense of the void between them in the poem/relationship.

Lowery gives an unpleasant use of physical damage in his representation of the love. ‘Cut’, ‘scab’, and ‘red burnt flesh is ugly’.  Therefore, I wonder if the poet’s character has not abused his lover and is wishing to fix the damage. Yet there is no apology in any of his stanzas, only a plea to stay. Line two, his first comment ‘wounds heal in time,’ tells us straight away there is damage to this love. By line four he expresses the want for them to become whole again and gives the metaphor that like cuts mending, a relationship can also mend in the same way. Her response to each of his stanzas however is cool. Each time she takes his analogy and gives him back the cold reality. In lines nine to eleven ‘it is not the same. There is always a scar, a permanent reminder.’ She is saying that they will always know what happened and it will forever be in her mind. She ends that stanza with ‘such is our love now’ and if you’re reading the poem as a conversation, you notice he had said relationship yet she called it love. The refrain ‘such is our love now’ belongs to the woman in this poem. For me it is her cool response and “broken record” technique that affirms in my mind the theme of Domestics Abuse. It’s very clear she wishes to leave but she is avoiding making him angry. She does not say what he has done, nor does she give any passionate response. For me the line ‘a numbness prevails’ sums up the tone of her stanzas. Reacting to him with numbness and distance is a natural defensive thing to do. Especially in a heated or emotional conversation.  This compared to his opposite stanza saying ‘in time it will disappear’ and his despraite rant ‘such is our love, such is our love’ he has taken her own words to use against her. You can hear how much more emotional he sounds compared to her. The poet chooses to use words like ‘soon’ ‘before long’ and ‘in time’ to give us the impression that the character believes he has done nothing of any lasting damage and that this, is merely a momentary “blip” to love.  In contract, the poet uses words for the women that are “ever sure” sounding. In each of her stanzas she says about the damage: it is ‘permanent’, it ‘prevails’, it ‘will be’ and is ‘forever’ so.  In the fifth stanza, especially I find it shows the thoughts clearly. He sees that there is no difference to the love now than what was there before. He tells her ‘it is always the same’ and it is ‘you’ who ‘feel different’ not me.  To me this sound of a person trying to shift the blame over to an other. In her response I like how she answers that now ‘changes must occur’. Saying in her own way that from this point, things will not be the same. The effect on the poem at this point is that she has made her decision. He is then forced to acknowledge her feelings in his following stanza. As I read on from line 34 it feels that her character is getting stronger. The female character is more sure of her decision to walk away from the relationship. His last words to her are a metaphor about how being in an abusive home. It is like being in the centre of a tornado. He acknowledges her fear and his anger saying ‘raging storm’ and line 40 ‘ The storm is frightening’ he still tries to dismiss its effect by saying ‘it will soon be gone’ . The character is implying that even if he gets angry and even if he scares her it does not matter because it only last for a while. He does not believe this is enough of a reason to end the relationship and that she should forget about it instead or learn to live with it may be.

He uses emotional blackmail by involving others to the argument ‘People will forget it ever existed’ I believe he is saying, “Ignore what your friends and family tell you to do. They see you hurt now but they will forget about it, you should forget about it” furthermore I think that when he speaks about the damaged trees outside in line 39, he is referring to family like “family tree”. The fact that Domestic Abuse can ruin and divide families. As well as crush, the individual works well in the form of this metaphor. Often abuses will use an individual’s fear of what people might think of them. They can use family and children as reasons for staying together. The female character cleverly answers that even so ‘it leaves damage in its wake’ regardless of whether she stays or goes the damage ‘can never be repaired’  she explains that ‘The tree is forever dead’. To me this truly represents the magnitude of how damaging Domestic Violence and Abuse is. It is so detrimental to the people involved that the damage is done instantly, and remains a permanent fact. Her words ‘forever dead’ signals her final decision is made. She wants to break the pattern of abuse and so the poet signals this by breaking her refrain in the last line. The absence of the word ‘now’ from ‘such is our love now’ has a powerful effect on the poem. You can feel the completion of the conversation. You know that this love is now dead.

My final poem, ‘Song for Last Year’s Wife’ by Brian Patten. The poet is writing a daydream. About a man who has woken to another day, without the love of his life. She had left the year before and he misses her greatly. Its dreamy half-awake feel is different to Yeats’s “dream”. Patten’s character is also waking to an unhappy reality, but his is from a dream based in memory and not a dream of love. The poem looks at the man’s plea to poses the love again. The feeling of owning the other person is hinted at in the lines 11 to 12, ‘Love had not the right to walk out of me’. The personification of love leaving him is his wife leaving him. He disagrees with her reasons because he says, “she has not the right”. The tone and conversation like qualities of this poem are similar to ‘Our love now’ but Patten’s character is more mournful because the relationship has been over for a while.

The whole poem is to one person. He opens with her name, like this is a love letter ‘Alice,’ he says with familiarity. We can assume that this must be the name of last year’s wife. The title, and line nine suggest to us, this character has a new wife or partner. He seems unhappy in this relationship. His description of a morning kiss from her is hardly romantic. ‘I wake with another mouth feeding from me,’ sounds more like breast-feeding a child. This new love only reminds him more of what he has lost. The man feels drained of joy and the tone of the poem reflects this beautifully. This poet adds imagery of winter to concrete the depressed emotion of the man. ‘earth’s still as hard, the same empty gardens exist’ and ‘winter, its isolation from other seasons’ creates a sad and lonely picture of this man in the light of cold winters morning, lay half awake thinking of Alice. He has a heart of icy emotions damaged by the loss of Alice; he misses her like missing the warmth in winter. The poem moves like the train of thought a person might have. Wavering from the man feels of self-pity, to his thoughts of Alice in the present. The poet’s use of commas slows the reading down. We almost lumber though trying to make it to the end of a sentence. The poem is all in one stanza. The poet has done this to add more effect to one stream of thought; we can see it and feel it on the page. Lines six and lines 22 to 24 the man wonders if Alice thinks of him too. He wants to know has she notices it’s their anniversary? For me when he says ‘I imagine you waking in another city, touched by this same hour’ he is wondering if she too might feel the loss of their love. He is pleading with hope she still thinks of him too. We know that this is unlikely to be the cases. The man has ‘sent our spies’ and they return with news of how ‘your body’s as firm, you are as alive, as warm and inviting as when they knew you first’. Alice is much happier now out of the relationship. The words ‘knew you first’ give us the clue that she is as well as the start of the marriage. A younger more alive Alice has returned to form. I feel sorry for the man but resent his manipulative way of getting information. He is too proud to face her himself. He would not want her to know how sad he is without her. So proud, that he pretends to be happy with a new love, secretly he is mortified by the loss. ‘So ordinary a thing as loss comes now and touches me.’ The man feels the loss of Alice so much that it has become an everyday thing an ‘ordinary’ part of life for him. He sometimes forgets even that she has gone like this morning. Line 19 ‘sends me your ghost to witness when I wake’. Is he mistaking his new wife for Alice? Forgetting in this dreaminess, she has left him. He is haunted; stalked by the love that he once had with her. It is gloomy and bleak. I am guessing it might even be Christmas time in the poem. The use of winter and that somebody came to visit, asking about Alice during that visit. This suggests the type of visit you get from more distant friends and family around Christmas. The type where you talk about family you have contact with over the year. The man resents that there is no change to his feeling even a year on. Line 8 ‘as if nothing special had changed’ and lines 12 into 13 ‘A year now. So what? You say.’ highlight this. He cannot escape the feeling of loss. Reminders of Alice trigger the painful thoughts each day. In order to survive the character becomes numb to life. He is bleak and miserable like the weather. Numb by cold and numb by hurt. Patten has great ability to create this atmosphere and even though it is a truly despondent poem, I like it.

The poems all deal with the problem that love is not a tangible item. We cannot give it like a gift or posses it like a present. Yet we all feel it is ours and we give it to others. Relationships require love of different depths, but we have not a scale or measure to set requirements too. All three poems are great examples of how love and relationships are personal and defined by the individual. They show how people value different acts or evidence as quantities of love.

For me ‘He wishes for the cloths of heaven’ by W.B. Yeats is the most effective. I adore this poem. It is so effective with amazing images and cleaver structure. The depth of the words becomes greater each time you read it and for a poem of only eight lines… genius!

WEA Paint and Poem Workshop

Image

Evening At Sea

Come set sail with me in my green boat

As our evening turns blue and we just float,

Come let us drift to the remote.

Don’t worry about the stormy sky

All will fade as time goes by

I know how life can make us cry

So come set sail with me and we can all drift free.

Week 9 Creative Writing with WEA

Q; Open brief, you have 400 words on the subject of your favorite food, Good luck.

Oh Apple Pie

Just a child I was, but the memory stayed long after

Like those long summer day full of laughter

Nanny’s homemade apple pie, with ice-cream too

Many years ago when birds flew and the sky was blue

I tell you it’s true that’s how our world once was

Very few environmental laws until the disaster

No more the world’s master, the storm was faster

Ocean currents now changed our climate rearranged

Warmth exchanged for cold and ice that was the price.

The sky is now white with icy blight; life has to fight for its own right

Nature has taken back her gifts, power she shifts

Southward mankind drifts to where trees still grow

My hope from the snow I bring to sow one lonely apple seed.

Week 6 Creative Writing with WEA

The Argument

“Looking for something” he says

“Please not again” she silently prays

My confidence he sways, masterful in the role he plays

“What a mess” he grumbles in annoyance, as I don’t have the gift of clairvoyance my reaction is delayed and to him this my guilt displays

“Why are you snooping? What is it that you seek” he shuffles his paper, his eye on me

“It is not me” I plea “may be the children in their swooping or they curiously peek” I don’t know what else to think.

We stand upon the brink of yet another debate our course now innate as I have taken his bait.

“Laundry piled high some effort you might apply, stuff in the sink what am I to think? You know a lesser man than me would be driven to drink.

Common sense you need, what a pathetic weed and out all times of day with my work pay. What have you to say?!”

Nothing of course, I’m too full of remorse.

My aim should be to serve it’s no more than I deserve.

“It’s all your fault” his continued insult “why can’t you be like a real wife” directed like a knife

I’m the prisoner at the bar wearing love as a scar, might I be exonerated or to this authority I’m fated to fix in his box and wash his socks

I wonder how it will all end, how much more my will can bend

Promises broken with so many hateful words spoken

Some sign I need for my hope to feed and grow a little stronger, my love to last a little longer

Thanks would do just a few, a gentle glance, a second chance, a touch of romance

No riches required, no help hired simple gratitude less the attitude.

My capital now freeze, his temper appeased.

Woman and children now in his possessions yet his own family in abscission

They look out into the world seeing his lies that had been twirled becoming uncurled

Supremacy is his indeed but love deficiency caused such need that they cry to be freed.

 

 

Hating

Blackness

Darkness

Rottenness

Sickness

Distress

Dizziness

Hatefulness

Sinfulness

In a mess

Hopelessness

Forgiveness

God bless