A Muse of Fire?

Poetry has reared its (ugly in my case?) head.

I said somewhere in my ‘about’ piece that I don’t write poetry, or at least poetry that I was prepared to share.

That turned to be one of those things that almost as soon as I said it, I thought about it again and immediately started doing what I said I didn’t/wouldn’t. I find I do that a lot, awful character trait.

In this case I wrote three related poems about playing rugby.

You can probably see why I said I don’t write poetry.

I don’t think the result was as awful as it sounds.

It was really a collection of sound experiences from when I played rugby and isn’t trying to address directly any major themes of life and death. It was an exploration of the low key camaraderie and experience of one facet of people’s lives.

It was rugby because that was the sport that occupied a large proportion of my recreational time from about the age of sixteen to thirty eight. It was what I knew. This isn’t the International end of things, it isn’t even the most exalted bit of my low key rugby life, it is the week in week out recreational clashes that make up the vast majority of rugby played around the world. Fun, banter, but occupying a place in the players’ hearts.

I say ‘it’ rather than ‘they’ because although there were three pieces and they were printed as three poems in the anthology ‘The Tall and the Short’, they are very closely related and deal with one event. They are the Prelude, Game and Post Match Analysis and deal with a very tight slice of life, about two and a half hours that surround the build up and aftermath of a match. A tight slice repeated for weeks every year for years. A major part of life. My life anyway. And in fact, an insight into more than a silly game with an inflated bladder.

So much like all poetry really. A condensed, spare representation of something that offers a deeper insight into the human condition.

And I got hooked.

So as well as trying to finish novels, short stories and attempting to turn a screenplay I can’t sell into a novel (which I also probably won’t be able to sell!) I’m writing poetry now. The local writing group is looking to publish a book of poems to support the local library and I might subject them so to some of my efforts and see what they think.

In the meantime I’ve been tempted into offering a few for magazine publication and we’ll have to see what happens with those.

I think my problem here is that I have no overarching theme in mind for poetry. Each one tends to be a response to some odd stimulus, the source of which I am unsure. I suspect in the past these half formed blips in memory would have either subsided once more into the morass of what passes for my psyche or been scribbled down as ideas for short stories or passages in novels. Once having turned this tap on it seems difficult to turn off. Time will tell whether this diverts so much effort from prose that I need to think of a way of turning it off again.

Watch this space for a post bemoaning the fact I never get inspirational flashes of thought passing along my synapses any more.

Or maybe even some poetry?

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