Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two poems

Two new poems will appear in the March issue of Enamel: 'Bus stop' and 'At the four-headed dog.' Emily heard me read 'Bus stop' at the beginning of the year and it tickled her. I'm looking forward to the new issue especially as Enamel is such a beautifully produced magazine. I'm going with Latika to see Jarvis Cocker on Thursday and I'm hoping that he plays lots from his new CD and not much Pulp material as I prefer his solo work anyway. Here's this week's Sunday seven:

  1. The Fundy Post on the Witi Ihimaera's plagiarism.
  2. Margaret Soltan's University Diaries blog.'
  3. 'Cuba Street' a poem by Lynn Davidson.
  4. The Guardian's Books of the year 2009.
  5. Andrew Gordon on Frederick Pohl's Man Plus.
  6. Janet Maslin on Billy Collins' Ballistics.
  7. Jarvis Cocker net.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday 7

Since my last post I've been tied up with marking and report writing and this has cut into the writing time. I have been able to polish some poems but I'm waiting for the work to die down before I start trying to think about the new poem rattling around in my head. New feature for the blog: Here's seven items I've read that I've found interesting:

  1. Anne Carson. Peril
  2. Jenny Bornholdt. Confessional
  3. Jill Chan. Three poems
  4. William Logan's review of Louise Gl├╝ck’s 'A Village Life.'
  5. Billy Collins. Searching.
  6. Beattie's book blog on Ihimaera plagiarism.
  7. New Horizons roused for long distance check-up.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Poetry in schools

A previous year's winner's entry is sung.

This morning I read, to my disappointed, in the IIML's newsletter that New Zealand Post will no longer sponsor the National Schools Poetry Award and the National Schools Poetry Festival. I can only guess that NZ Post must be facing the financial crunch. This year at school I started a lunchtime creative writing club and for the small number of students who joined the competition provided a focus and goal, especially the song writing category which was a brilliant idea. I just hope that NZ Post has had the good sense not to solely measure the success of the competition by the number of competition entrants. I know a few young writers who wrote poems and song lyrics with an eye to the competition but who decided at the last moment not to submit their entries. And that's fine. Like other writers, they used the competition as a goal to produce their work. These competition and festivals allow talented students to aim for something which is outside of routine school work.

I've been flat out at school but still keep my own writing up because I feel better after writing. Poetry takes me out of myself and my daily concerns. I'm working on a translation of an Wulf and Eadwacer and I've trawled the Web teasing the mysteries of ungelic. Ah, if only I had a subscription to Questia so I could finish reading that article. I'm really working on two versions of the poem: one an attempt to be as faithful as I can to the original and one which gives my own imagination and reading of the poem room to play. I've started to read 'ungelic' as 'ill-matched' (very Shakespearean, I know) because I have a feeling that this is what the poet means even though there's no solid evidence for this reading --although that's not to say that it's not open to this translation! I'm that I studies Old English as an undergrad and then again at Post Graduate level at UF and I'm grateful to the excellent teachers I had at both Victoria University and the University of Florida. (I really did get sort of lost in Anglo-Saxon again and spent quite a lot of enjoyable hours wrestling with it). Despite Woody Allen's advice in Annie Hall to "never take a course where they make you read Beowulf", I've found that Old English has given much pleasure over the years.

Image source: Loop 2005