F is for fu- Poetry?

So, this week was immeasurably better than the last. To my knowledge nothing was stolen from me and I even managed to have a few days off work. My mum and my brother came to visit, and while avoiding punching my brother in the face for being one of the most infuriatingly unbearable people I’ve ever known, I’m not in as bad a place as I was last Saturday.

Still no news on my laptop for those asking. Thanks for asking, but I’m sick of talking about it now.

Straight on to this weeks class, as you can probably tell from the (witty?) title.

This weeks class we had a guest poet come in and talk to us. You may sense a bit of impatience, as I’m not overly fond of poetry, but this week was actually really interesting. As I said last week, I am interested in studying it, if only to improve my prose. And that is where the slight impatience comes in, I’m hoping next week that we study some more prose, or even something along the lines of screenwriting or another form, just to break up what has been predominantly poetry so far.

The guest poet was the immensely interesting Clare Shaw, who also works as a mental health care worker (I believe that was the correct title, but I may be doing her a disservice!) She is incredibly approachable and for the first time I was able to join in quite pro-actively with the discussion. Despite my evident lack of poetical knowledge.

The first thing we looked at was the texture of poetry and even managed to compose a giant list of the elements that make up a poem.

After that we were asked to chose our favourite vowel and to write it large on a piece of paper. This was a hard choice, every vowel is precious to me. I use and abuse them all! But as we had been talking about the ‘sound’ of poetry I chose:


This is because most musical notes, sung properly, form the sound ‘ahhhhhhh’ and that was the first thing that came to mind. The other thing I like about it is its unique, singular connotations; A…

The next task, we were given a letter. We had to get to know the letter, look at it, roll it around our tongues. Then we had to write about that letter as i) a landscape, ii) a colour, iii) a weather, iv) an occupation, v) a time of day, vi) a food type, vii) a music. I edited a couple out because they were bad, but here is the rest:


F is a farm with lines of irrigation leading

to each other,

sectioning off

parts of land in a rectangle,

with a lower

case river


through it.


Fog is the weather that f would be

clogging up the landscape and

making it difficult to see.

Farmer f in its farm,

working hard from

the front,

the beginning.

Filling the land

with fruit.


F is the morning, when

the dew is on the ground

and an early sea mist is rising,

to block out the land and

slowly give way to day.


The music for F would be


living off the land, and

for the people.


for all to

hear and



I found that quite difficult, and what happened in my head was basically a game of word association. The good thing about this is that it gets the writing ‘muscle’ working, which is a great thing. Hopefully my poetry will improve over time.

We were each given an object and asked to get to know it in the same way as the letter. The touch it, feel it and to taste it. You will see why, from the object I was given, that I refrained from tasting it. Here goes:

A Pound Coin

Polished smooth by the hands of time,

ridged in order to give form and purpose.

Round and round it goes,

always giving,

never taking.

Its two sides the same, but a choice.

The bridge of journey or the regal lines.

The metallic tang of manufacture.

A collection of senses,

smell like sweaty hands holding it

and considering its worth.

As it rolls along the table trying to escape,

a steady, controlled sound,

that clatters when control is lost.

The taste, forbidden,

of cold metal sticking to the tongue,

lingering, unforgiving,

like the taste of new fillings.

Shiny and used,

brought to a purity of style

and purpose.


the Queen’s head looks calm and authoritative,

but the sign of age, it tells us.

2005, the year.

No latin on the sides.

Pure lines.

I quite like that, I’m not sure why. Despite my usual distrust of poetry, it is quite satisfying when you write something readable. For me its the conscious effort to avoid the cliche, the pretentious and the overly abstract. Keep it plain, but poetic.

I talked to a couple of classmates about a poem I wrote in school, which always reminds me of Baldrick’s poem in Blackadder. so much so that it makes me cringe. But if you are lucky, I may share it with you. Once I get a copy off my mum.

once again, thanks for reading and making it this far.

Comments (and praise) are always welcome!


poetry, sometimes.

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