Hello again wonderful readers. It’s time for the second poet in our guest post series, the lovely Anna Ghislea. We still have spaces for guest posts so if you’re enjoying it so far and want to join in then just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone knows poets are poor; it is rare that anyone should make a living out of poetry, so why do millions of people feel the need to get the pen out and scribble? Why do I bother?
I suppose that as a working mum with limited “me” time, I see poetry and creative writing as a way of re-discovering and retaining my identity. I’m still a rock n’ roll chick and I’m still a bit of a drama queen, so even if I haven’t got as much time as I would like to live those characteristics as I used to, I write as a substitute. Writing is like an umbilical cord to my previous life. That said, I don’t necessarily write about me personally and I don’t necessarily write about the past. I write more about the observations I have gathered over time that have touched me; have alerted my senses or have plainly, just humoured me.
Poetry to me is sometimes like a camera. I don’t think you need to be an outstanding wordsmith to write it; conjuring the simplest vocabulary captures a moment, just like a photograph would. A fleeting thought; a chance observation; a moment of revelation; anyone can write down words to express their encounter. It is a beautiful, seductive and compact form of expression.
My first introduction to poetry was when I was quite young and I sat listening to Sir John Betjeman’s Banana Blush with my Granny. Perhaps it was because the album is musically accompanied by the amazing compositions of Jim Parker, but my mind worked overtime in listening to the ghostly tale of Captain Webb the Dawley man and it’s still my favourite to this day. All the poems on that album are stunning snapshots of people’s lives, from the business women soaking in their steaming bathtubs in Camden Town to the sun kissed row boat of Clemency, the General’s daughter and to the children’s party where the excited notion of lemon curd and Christmas cake is laced with the innocence of first attraction and a childhood sweetheart.
From there I moved on to become besotted with the crimson haired, pagan punk poet, Joolz. I spent my teens listening to her, stunned by tales of her world and of the harsh realities of Northern modern life, – it was a bitter world apart compared to my comfortable, protected home life in Hertfordshire! But, being a drama Queen, I was transfixed by the way that Joolz delivered her poetry live and recorded and now, when I (rarely) deliver my own to an audience, I think of everything I gleaned from watching her. She had such passion and, still does.
Poetry and spoken word have an ever growing audience these days and people cannot help but dabble in writing it themselves. As a writer with a blog I always try to connect with those who visit my pages and I’m keen to explore their styles of writing too, so I always check out the links to some of their posts. I have discovered that for many, poetry appears to provide stress relief; a way of pouring out anxieties; a way to question the unquestionable. I have done this, especially when I’ve been feeling vengeful, disappointed or saddened. However I have also used poetry to celebrate, to explore, to be thankful and to hopefully—entertain!
So, is there any point in poetry? Well, it’s not an affluent community, but people who write, read and listen to poetry are certainly richer for doing so.
Thank you to Carol for opening her wonderful blog to guests like me and for sharing her time with us all. Happy NaPoWriMo everyone!
When I am old I shall drive a Fiat Punto
and keep a rug and basket on the back seat
with a flask and biscuits, for emergencies.
Time will be mine without you my dear;
my second pair of eyes in left hand command.
I shall be regal and heads will turn
at my rinse, set and finish so trim and
I shall cruise, at twenty two, down the main road through town,
with an entourage processing behind.
I shall signal well before left or right is in sight and
turn with due diligence and care.
I shall reverse or nose dive at an angle when parking;
a precise ninety degree demonstration.
Yes, time will be mine without you my dear,
to gauge our distance and schedule.
No kids to taxi and no nine to five rush hour.
No trains, or planes, to dash for.
The engine won’t squeal with a foot to the floor, it will purr and function serenely.
The flask will stay in its place, all the way,
to the library, bowls or the doctor.
Yes, time will be mine, without you my dear and
I’ll tune into classical radio.
My hair still regal; not a grey out of place,
I shan’t break too hard or too late.
Yes, time will be mine without you my dear
but I would miss you, my dear, with you not here.
So before I am old, with my hair all regal, driving my Fiat Punto,
let’s jump the lights and turn up the volume,
greet the wind in our faces and hair.
Love me again on the old squeaky backseat;
sleep out, when we should be at home.
Guitars all blazing with a foot to the floor and
thundering drums keeping time with the revs,
“I am truly sorry, Officer, Sir,
I had no idea of the limit in place.”
Yes, time should be ours, my love, my dear,
To witness sunrise through the mirror’s rear view;
the seats all sticky with the times of yesterday,
my hair not regal and all out of place.