I've been working on two blog poetry things this week - Mairi Sharratt's Simultaneous Blog Experiment (due to be posted at midday on Saturday our time - that post of mine now here) and, of course, everybody's favourite - the Poetry Bus. I'm posting my Bus poem now, a bit early, rather than get it all mixed up with tomorrow's Experiment. For this week Dana gave us three Bus options (here) and I chose the second one:
"In the movie 'The Hunt for Red October' Sam Neill (swoon) plays a defecting submarine officer. During a quiet moment in the film he tells Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) that he has always dreamed of living in Montana. SPOILER ALERT FOR A TWENTY YEAR OLD FILM! He dies before he makes it to the United States. Made me cry. Write about the place you dream of living someday. Or if you’re lucky enough to already live there write about home."
Thinking about this task (walking the dog – where I do my best thinking) I had all kinds of things coming into my head (for a start the poem/song "I vow to thee my country" - not even sure where I know that from... maybe primary school... maybe Charles and Diana's doomed wedding service... how timely... ). And then, because I'm reading faber's new edition of Shakespeare's sonnets just now (and I mentioned that on the Bus last week – here), I decided that I wanted to have another go at a sonnet for this task. After all sonnets are so often about love and this is a task about love too, in its way. I have old sonnets here and my “Happy New Hope” one on a postcard (buy now for the 2010/11 festive season!) but here is today's brand new one (and an audio version here):
Trying for home
Let's picture a country that's worth fighting for A land we can treasure and still want to share Where no-one can buy themselves higher than law Close your eyes tight, you might see it, somewhere With healthcare, sound housing, wide spaces of green And the money to keep it all ticking along Kind teachers, prime time-off and nobody mean To dream a fair home, is that so very wrong? We count what we're missing and wish it weren't so The waiting, the pushing, the steal and the con We know most of all there's a good way to go That the seats are all full and the engines turned on We try to find the place hidden from sight We worry that it's only there at night
As with last week's villanelle you will notice that this poem is the height of low fashion (awash as it is with end-rhymes). What can I say - like old Will S, I just prefer my sonnet efforts with end-rhymes – though that's not (of course!) to say that I think all lines in all poems should end in a rhyme (no, no, no... variety is the key to all good things... is it not? Why, yes it is!). Getting good end-rhymes can be tricky (I had to fiddle with this poem till my brain boiled) but overall I figure something like... if they were good enough for WS's sonnets then they are certainly good enough for mine.
Anyway, hope to see you all on the Bus at some point and don't forget the simultaneous blog experiment thing (including the chance to hear my Spanish accent... a once only offer) is now here.
Originally from the north of England, I live in Angus, Scotland where I walk a lot, think a lot, listen to lots of music, sometimes write poems, sometimes read poems out to other people, sometimes write songs, read all kinds of odd things, watch a bit...oh and I look after my family too.
I sometimes organise poetry and music events - details are usually here (though nothing coming up in the near future). This year I went travelling with my family - photos and notes are here. Now we're back I have moved to a new regular blog - it is here.
More about the song
You can buy my book (published 2008) from my website if you fancy it (go to 'book' page) or from www.amazon.co.uk if you prefer the comfort of the multinational corporation. My book is printed on recycled paper and card. I have 12 different poetry postcards available too.