Saturday, 22 January 2011

Back To (Poetry) School

Some people sit down and poems seem to come to them, unbidden. I find courses help me to enlist the Muse's help - or is it self-belief? - and tap into my creativity.
After a fairly dry month poetry-wise, I started a Poetry School course with John McAuliffe last Tuesday evening. It's absolutely great to be back in the classroom! John is such a fun tutor - enthusiastic, energetic, knowledgeable - and how! But more importantly, supportive and encouraging. We took a look at Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rilke - a poem I love and which I've featured on this blog. Then Leda and the Swan by Yeats which was new to me. Our homework is to write a sonnet, but to deconstruct the form and make our own of it. Yikes! I left the class buzzing, but with no idea of what I would write. By the time I got home I knew what I wanted to write about and started as soon as I got in, aided by a couple of glasses of red wine, which I frequently find helpful! I woke early on Wednesday with more thoughts and by Wednesday night I had a first draft to work on. To me, this is always the start of the most exciting stage of making a poem. Now I've been through several drafts, my poem is looking in ok shape and I'm relieved to be back in the saddle.


  1. Dunk's been going round all day feeling very rugged, he was really tickled by your comment:-)
    much love

  2. That's great - I always find it helps to have a task to complete...otherwise things end up sitting around half-written :/

  3. Martine - great! I hope the ruggedness is continuing!

    Neezes - yes!! my sentiments exactly!