Sunday, 11 March 2012

Writing exercises - poetry #1

Evening. Yesterday evening I was working at a Luke Wright and Ross Sutherland gig - two performance poets who I have a real love for, the latter inspiring the former into poetry, who subsequently got me hooked on the medium when I went to Latitude in 2010. In the afternoon before the show, they held a workshop, which I went to. Not only was it really interesting and informative but we had a couple of 10 minute intervals to try out some exercises, which didn't give me the opportunity to procrastinate, my most seductive enemy. In the first, we could either write an alliterative (alliteration being the technique used before rhyme came into popular useage) or univocal (using only one vowel (Y counting as a vowel)) poem. I didn't get very far with my 'E' poem (called Fleet Street), so here's the product of the second exercise, a long one sentence poem which starts with an image, goes off on a tangent, and returns to the image right at the end. I read this out on stage (very badly):

Here's a transcript:

The anchor strained against the rope
Pulling the boat into the sunny cope*
As its crew flexes to catch the eye
Of the assembled gathering of passers-by
Who witness a sight too silly to believe
As the trends have changed no news reached sea
That the ladies of Britain are now hard to impress
With the sight of muscles bulging from a tight white vest
Other than one, Ms Daisy Hook
Whose more-than-a-glance is a noticeable look
That more than a few sailors see
(Most of whom assume she demands no fee)
A brawl breaks out, friends become foes
The Captain shrieks "She's just a cheap hoe"
It seems that little Miss Hook's look
Was the final fray of that crew's rope


Okay, must dash, off to continue the poetry hype with an evening of being read to be Simon Armitage! Love the theatre I work at. Hope you all enjoyed x

*I'm not sure this is right. Is a cope a thing? You get a cape, and in France you get a cote - is cope in that sense a neologism?


  1. Oh Jamie, you and your tight white vests.

    I'm going to steal this and publish it under my own name. In all seriousness though, lovely poem.

    1. Haha it is quite homoerotic, actually - that's poetry for you!

      Go for it mate, and thanks lots xx

  2. Err, HELLO. I like this poem too. Procrastination is my enemy but so is embarrassment at myself. Can't bear to put words onto paper!
    PS how did I miss giant wagon wheel. Amazing.

    1. HEYA
      Haha I don't really get embarrassed by that - but only because I'm such a star procrastinator that I don't have the time to cringe over what I write in the end! When I write without a deadline in five hours all I do is agonise over word ordering - in the immortal words of John McPhee: "I can't stand a sentence until it sounds right." xxx

      P.S. Yes, how? It was tastier than a tin of treacle and I'd chase after another faster than a fat man on a sledge would go down a hill after a scotch egg x

  3. Great poem Jamie! More poems please :)

    1. Thanks Hila, means a lot from someone of your considerable talents - will try to do just that!


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