Saturday, 12 December 2009

Call and Return

A new poem was born this week. It's already, rather guiltily, a favourite. I pick it up often and carry it around the house, singing to it. I am neglecting my older work.

The new poem is a piece of free verse that weaves together a number of voices and languages, Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Middle English, hymns, prayers, the voice of the soil. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed playing with Anglo-Saxon verse ,within the free verse frame, and it seems my recent wanderings in traditional verse form have had some sort of influence upon my work. I was certainly pleased with the resulting poem and enjoyed using so many voices. I loved fitting them together in a meaningful and tuneful way; so that each voice spoke with the next, even though many of them had never met before.

What is more, it occurs to me now that I speak in this voice, this particular voice, on the subject of a polyphonic poem, and that the voiceI am currently writing in carries a lantern, illuminating what it can, what it wants to, while the glare from its light throws other things into greater shadow. Iam aware of using this space to reveal only a little, to uncover and to conceal. Like all communication, this is an exercise in control, as much as it is a reaching out. More on this subject later.

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