Saturday, 20 February 2010

Pieces of me (for TFE)

So another poem for the great man (and I'm getting earlier and earlier...I have very little patience once something is written, sorry). This week TFE's writing prompt was loose:

"Write about ANYTHING but if you need a prompt then empty your pockets /wallets/ purses/handbags then write a detached poem about yourself , based on your personal items, what they might say about you."

I thought about the bag I use most often (the one above, complete with curious dog) and I came up with this (it's not particularly detached but as with all these prompts I seem to take the bits that interest me and completely fail to take notice of anything else...):

Pocket book

Dog biscuits
In a bag

Some words found out walking

A lipstick
Hardly used

Lines mirrored, as you do

A wallet
Bare essential

Beginnings of a sonnet

A dog tag
Your metal

Another poem about you

Bus tickets
Train tickets

Slow thoughts on the moving

Of all kinds

A mashed love piece for tea

Hat and gloves

A worn 'Save the trees' postcard

Paper traces

Another poem about me

RF 2010



Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent, I love how scraps of observations can come together into a poem...

Totalfeckineejit said...

Nice one Foxy,I really love the idea of'some words found out walking'So true and yet you always think of it first and keep it simple. Trés bien! Cool doggio too.

Sorlil said...

What a fun idea! I'm tempted to join in on this one. I like your approach here, different from your usual, I guess that's the benefit of writing to exercises. I also liked the words found out walking.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, important to get the right consonant in that 'walking'!

Is it a different approach, Sorlil? In what way? And yes, you should join in. I wasn't keen to begin with and only joined in when Titus did because...not sure really. Haven't regretted it though and have written some poems I'm really pleased with and surprised by.


Dianne said...

I've been wanting to write some "found poetry" about the odd toys and scraps I found under the oven when I (finally) cleaned down there.

I like your juxtaposition of poems with daily objects, opens more questions!


Rachel Fox said...

The juxtaposition just came naturally because I pretty much always have a notebook in that bag and it is full of poems past, present and future.

I changed the last 3 lines about 100 times...ended up with my first choice of very last line after all!


Argent said...

Liked this very much - the ending espcially, as it mirrored words in the earlier part (I love that kind of thing). "Words found out walking" stood out for me too.

Rachel Fox said...

Oh, I'm so glad you like the end! As I say that bit went through the most changes...I even changed it about 4 times once I'd posted it!

hope said...

And I smiled at the line about the mirror. :)

I really liked this one. It's as if I got even more insight into what makes you tick.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, the 'lines mirrored' has a few meanings really...some you'll get straightaway and some you might not.
Glad you enjoyed the poem. I had a little fight with it but we're on friendly terms now. Story of my life...

Niamh B said...

mirrored lines struck me most out of these as well, interesting image.

Poet in Residence said...

I especially like the bit about words found out when walking.

Last night I went to a vernissage at a psychiatrists (of all places) and there your postcards were snapped up between glasses of red wine, various nibbles and pink and blue paintings... I retained one postcard for myself though.

I just emptied my pockets and found a handkerchief and some fluff.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Niamh. You playing tomorrow?

And Poet - thanks for sending those cards out into the world. And for teaching me a new word. And you never know when that fluff might come in handy!


Dick said...

Nifty stuff, Rachel. A small number of words neatly organised and working so well.

Dianne said...

Thanks for the constructive comment on my poem lie down by my side. I really appreciate these thoughtful suggestions and always work on them.

I have missed my writer's workshop for two months and feel stagnant.

I also started writing with rhyming poetry, but don't like the result. It feels too contained and cliche'. so, my rhymes are all over the place and loose just because, or half rhymes. I am glad you like it, I will keep working on it.


Karen said...

I really like this, too, for the same reasons listed by others here. The "words found out walking," of course for its appeal to the writer in me and the "lines mirrored" for how they tease my mind. The ending really works.

Liz said...

Like how it verges on a list poem but has great connectors that take it that extra mile...and the title, I like too. Good going, Rachel.

Rachel Fenton said...

It just seems to tumble from you (and your bag) effortlessly and yet is so keen - and though most women have much the same stuff stuffed into their bags (what's that all about?) you manage to personalise your words like a shopping list for your very own store! Neat!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks all.

Liz - yes, I was chuffed when the title popped out. We have Canadian relatives and it's them that use 'pocket book' for handbag, isn't it? Of course in this case it refers to an actual book too. I love it when that happens.

And Rachel - some of it was effortless, some of it was hard fought! I did worry that the end was too neat...that's why I changed it so many times. But no matter how I fiddled I wasn't happy with the results and so the original neat ending went back in (in a slightly altered way). I think there is a fear in modern poetry (about being neat) but sometimes you just have to go out on that ledge! There's very little neat about me in real life (and if you think my bag is full of stuff go and check out Titus'!).


Titus said...

This is an absolute delight - found objects that connect to conjure a whole, complex image of a person. "Some words found out walking" and "Lines mirrored, as you do" are stand-outs for me too, and I really liked the end lines, especially "Paper traces" and the glorious, truthful, "Another poem about me".
Really good writing - loved it!

the watercats said...

I also like the "words found out walking"..nice touch!..
this was a really nice read! cheers for sharing!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks T. Yes, I liked my 'paper traces'...moved them round a bit before they ended up there. They cover a multitude of things. And truth...yes...I have been listening to an Adrian Mitchell cd where he refers to poetry as 'truth with a backbeat' (I think that's his own phrase - anyone else know any different?). I wouldn't be strict about adhering to that (and neither was he particularly, I don't think) but I like it.

And Cats...glad you liked it. Thanks so much.


Poetikat said...

I liked this a whole lot. You have such economy of words, Rachel and yet you say so much. I envy that of you.

I SO get that "another poem about me". Sometimes I think of mine, "Really! Enough already!"


Rachel Fox said...

A lovely comment, Kat. Thanks muchly, muchly.

I do like the discipline of writing poetry...making yourself and the words work really, really hard (partly because I have been quite a slacker in my time so it does feel good to do some work!). And when I say 'discipline' I really do just mean something that I dictate to myself...everyone can have their own idea of what their type of writing discipline should be. With this piece, for example, some of it came easily but then a few bits were reworked and reworked and reworked until I felt sure they were doing all they could (and sounding right too). Also I took rhyme out, put it back in, took it out again, put it back again! Basically I really don't like putting something online until it feels as good as it can be (at that particular time anyway).

That last line...I did worry to begin with whether it wouldn't lay me open to the 'you just write about you - what an ego' school of criticism...but then it worked so well...and it was the brief...and it is true...we do write about ourselves in most of our poems (to some extent). If we wanted to never write about ourselves we would be news journalists or something, wouldn't we? I would be the worst news journalist in the world by the head for facts! I'd be like Barbie does news or something...


Pure Fiction said...

I loved the last line - just throw-away enough to poke a little fun and at the same time bring the poem to another level.

As for not writing about ourselves in poetry, how else are you supposed to write if not through your own eyes.

Rachel Fox said...

So glad you feel I made the right decision about the end! I hate to be misunderstood (though of course how we are understood is not always within our control!) but it's so great when readers get what I is up to (and don't think I is just an eejit!).


Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey! What's wrong with being an EEjit!? :)

Rachel Fox said...

Well, there are eejits and eejits...

NanU said...

Words are a wonderful thing to find out walking!

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, NanU...and when I came back from my walk this morning I was saying (in walking rhythm) 'passion, passion, passion'. See next post!