Wednesday, 12 November 2008

November skies

Yesterday I did a bit of blog maintenance. A couple of months ago I had got mixed up and I thought I had posted the same poem here twice (I hadn't, as it happened...I'd just got confused) but I decided I needed to go through the whole blog and note which poems had been posted here and when. So yesterday I went through all the posts and it was really weird going back to the beginning (February 2007!) and seeing what I was thinking back then when I opened the blog doors, as it were. I do keep diaries and reread them now and again but this was even weirder (it being public and all). It reminded me who my first readers were here and how I started tentatively but then got to quite enjoy it all – the strange virtual meetings, the finding people you might even like in real life, the reading all kinds of writing and then, best of all, the moments of real happiness when someone likes a poem or writes just the right thing in a comment or a post at just the right moment. Now and again these days there have even been some great debates and exchanges on here and that is just fantastic. My Mum has always been a Bloomsbury set fan and I know she is slightly disappointed that I don't fill the house with brilliant literary and other artistic minds at all times...little does she know it's all going on in the laptop...that in here, now and again, I have my very own low-rent Virginia Woolf moments! Who needs TS grumpy Eliot when you have sparkling Fiendish and charming Ken Armstrong and Colin 'the godfather of Scottish poetry' Will? If it wasn't for Colin visiting here at the beginning when I was Rachel-no-blog-mates I think I might have given it all up as a bad job – he is a top geezer that Mr Will. And everyone else who reads and comments too - I do quite honestly love you all...I'm a big soppy girl that way, far too open, far too honest, gets me in all kinds of trouble...Take blog awards all of you, take them, run through the fields and be happy...even those of you who never leave a comment (and I know who some of you are!)...I probably love you all too...well, most of you...

Sorry...gushing overload. Deep breath. Assume serious poetry face. Feel uncomfortable. Resume normal rather confused expression.

When I was going through the poems and blogs I came across this November poem. I wrote it a couple of years ago when I was out shopping in Montrose (while Small Girl was at post-school dancing) and the sky was so breathtakingly beautiful it...astounded me. I don't write the most visual poetry and I don't concentrate on visual details as much as some poets but now and again even I get carried away by my eyes. We do get the most beautiful skies in the world here...something to do with the sea and the Basin perhaps but this poem is a funny one in some ways – it is one of mine that I'm less sure about. Usually I feel fairly sure when a poem is finished (to my eyes and ears at least) but this one...is a bit different. It is a bit messy and I know that will annoy some readers but the problem for me is that I don't mind mess really...mess is normal, comforting honest...and I don't expect poems to be always perfect (although obviously I try my hardest with them in many ways). Oddly I've got it in the 'writing' section on my website when it probably should be in 'seeing and believing' instead (or as well). I sent it to a poetry magazine once and got the comment 'I think you are working your way towards an exciting style'. I kind of liked that comment. When you get to the supposedly exciting moments they can be disappointing, can't they? Sometimes the best bit is the getting there. See what you think...



Be quiet too

That full blue of evening sky
Is that simply this
The colour of magic?

It is warm and cold
The most amazing sight
But ordinary too

It stops me dead
At half past four
On a November afternoon
For quite some moments

I think of words for colour
For wholeness and everything
And find nothing with the spell
Of that buzzing blue

There are times and colours
And feelings like this
(‘You’ll be pleased to hear
Results are negative’)
So much strength of their own
They can be better left
To silence

So I pause and
Like a good Quaker
Feel the huge relief
Of noiseless time

It is just blue

I keep quiet

Now you try it




RF 2006

34 comments:

hope said...

Rachel in case you missed my comment on Dave's blog, kindly stop by my blog today and pick up your awards. :)

Like you, I only took two...now you have an excuse to go back and get the other two if you like.

Ah, a walk down memory lane...enlightening, isn't it? I'm glad you share the road with us.

Sorlil said...

I particularly like - 'I think of words for colour / for wholeness and everything' and also the ending.
Colin - the godfather of Scottish poetry, seems so apt, lol!

Rachel Fox said...

Hope - and altogether now 'Ease on down, ease on down the road...' It didn't do Michael Jackson much good...but we'll just have to gloss over that bit...

It is a bit like roads though..here on the virtual highway thingey. We all have our roads and sometimes we meet, sometimes they cross over, sometimes we choose to take a turn off in another direction. All interesting stuff.

And Sorlil..I meant godfather in the good, wise and caring sense, not in the horse's head in the bed sense. Obviously.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely. I like the way the poem just trails off towards the end - leaving silence.
It is good to read what you said last year isn't it?

Colin Will said...

Wow, that's a relief Rachel. I was wondering about having to stuff my cheeks with cotton wool, like Brando did.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes Weaver - what I like best is seeing how last year's huge worries seem so distant and unimportant! This year's of course are something altogether different...

And Colin...possibly my first blog friend! Glad to hear your Edinburgh thing went so well...fingers crossed mine can be OK too.

x

swiss said...

noisleless time - liking that!

Rachel Fox said...

That's my favourite bit too! That and the line before. That's why I haven't changed it really...the poem may have faults but I like that section and it makes up for anything else for me.
x

Ken Head said...

Hi Rachel

I feel all the better for having read this one. Glad I dropped by tonight!

Poetikat said...

"the spell of that buzzing blue"

One could get into psychic vibrations here, but I won't. Although, some force was at work, that's for sure.

I like mess too. I don't like everything to be perfect and honed and overwrought. Sometimes they just have to be.

Kat

P.S. Suggesting my poem could be a song was a compliment of the highest order (especially coming from you).

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Ken...maybe this poem is OK as it is after all...

And Kat...there was a sky a bit like it yesterday too - what timing! I suppose Remembrance Day and all thoughts, articles and posts about it (and its silence of course) did have an influence on me posting this one right now too. Stopping and thinking, taking a pause, remembering. thinking hard about what exactly you are remembering...it's all in there...

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely poem, I especially like the ending.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks CGP. It's good to know my writing instincts are not all wrong! This poem feels right to me as it is...of course that doesn't mean everybody will like it or find it interesting (that never happens with any artwork...ever!) but it's good to know that at least some of you feel the same way. Very good to feel that!

xxx

Dave King said...

Lovely poem. The last three lines clinch it, involve the reader and lift it to a different level.

Rachel Fox said...

Now that's an interesting comment, Dave! I don't consciously think about it but I suppose I do want to involve the reader...that is a big part of my motivation/intention/subject. So if it did then...hurray. You too are a top geezer...for noticing!
x

Dick said...

Great lead-up and great poem, Rachel. Your stuff is so vocal and thus immediate and engaging. I loved this.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks, Dick...whilst all these comments are much appreciated they are confusing me too! Maybe I should read this one tomorrow night...I wasn't planning to but then, to be honest, I keep changing my mind about what I'm going to read! Too much time to think about it...maybe I should go and clean something instead...
x

Singing Bear said...

I like the poem, Rachel. If it is a bit messy, what does that matter? Life is messy.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks SB and can I ask...is your blog name anything to do with muppets?

Ken Armstrong said...

Thanks for the kind mention - your blog is a treasure that just grows and grows.

William Boyd wrote the novel 'The Blue Afternoon' which is a good read - near the end he described a type of colour activity that occurs in the skies in the late-afternoon. He does it very well and this evoked it for me too.

Rachel Fox said...

Now see - charming and informative!

x

Dominic Rivron said...

I like the poem - it reminded me that there are aspects of the climate this (otherwise depressing, for me) time of year which are uplifting.

Paul said...

Woah - that took me back to some creative writing that I did back at uni.. it was (almost) gonzo style.. it was about a troubled young man who took to opiates... it was a year before trainspotting came out.

To cut a short story short - the ending was something about being enveloped in an embrace of blue... the lecturer loved it, and wanted me to go for the gonzo stlye in a big way. I didn't like the implications of what that might do to me!

Anyway - not as lovely as your poem by a long shot - but it made me have a wooooah moment.

Jim Murdoch said...

It is quite good. Try ditching the seven-line stanza and see what you think.

The Solitary Walker said...

Agree with last comment - that stanza holds up the flow of the previous. 'Buzzing blue' much better than, say, 'colour of magic'. 'Buzzing blue' stanza absolutely fab.

Re 'messiness' - OK y'all, but, even with 'messy' Ginsberg, every word counted!

Fiendish said...

"Of noiseless time" is absolutely killer. I connect with the feeling in this piece so much that it's almost startling.

When it comes to the Bloomsbury set, I must confess it's the kind of dream life I always imagine myself leading - but now that you mention it, you're quite right; we're not a bad lot all things considered :)

Dave King said...

Just read through your poem again, Rachel. it got to me - and involved me - much earlier this time. I guess I saw more in it with rereading, and I guess that's the mark of a really fine poem. Congrats. Incidentally, we are very close in our starting dates. My first post was just before Christmas '06, merely a statement of intent. I didn't expect to last this long. I was merely testing the water.

Rachel Fox said...

I really appreciate all the comments on this one!

Dominic - I know what you mean...I often need uplifting myself...in so many ways!

Paul - I have my gonzo moments too! Glad you liked the blue in here.

Jim - I need that stanza...it sets up the silence idea which is kind of central to the poem. Plus it takes the poem to different places and feelings which I like.

S Walker - I know what you mean about 'colour of magic'...it is not something I would normally write (and that is of course one reason I quite like it in a sick sort of a way). I kept it partly because it links in with the 'spell' that comes in later...plus it means the poem gets better as it goes along (which I like). Better than the oppposite...

And Dave - thanks for rereading. I was in some doubts about this poem but most of the reactions here have helped me have a little more faith in it (warts and all).

x

Rachel Fox said...

Missed out Fiendish! Especially glad that you like it - not that I have favourites or anything...

I have a poem about literary sets too (under 'writing' on website called 'On not having a literary circle').
x

annie said...

Rachel, I'm new to these shores, followed here through Claire and Jim.

I'm a fan of your style, but rambling prose and lyrical verse. While I mostly dig this poem, the rhyme at the end (quiet/try it) distracts me and takes away from my experience. Why do you have it that way?

It feels like bad form to introduce myself and follow with a nitpick in the next breath. I hope you can forgive me.

Rachel Fox said...

You're forgiven..it's only a question after all! I can't explain why those last lines are like that...partly because I am a pretty instinctive writer...I write what comes out pretty much. But also you should know that I love rhymes and write lots of them...whenever and wherever they seem right (and it seemed right here). As for the content of the question...it's a bit of a cheek asking people to 'keep quiet' when I have just done the opposite (and churned more words out into an already very noisy world)...but I am a bit cheeky, I suppose...a bit contrary...a bit interested in confusion. I only said 'try it' after all...not 'do it'...

And welcome. By the way.

annie said...

Thanks, Rachel, for the reply and the welcome. :)

Were it my poem to edit, I'd play with just dropping "it" rather than changing "try".

But if the rhyme feels right to you, then I can't argue with it staying. :)

(verification word: constess)

S.L. Corsua said...

The fourth stanza is a real clincher. "Buzzing blue" sounds so very apt. ;) Cheers.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks SL...and welcome to you too!
x