“No-one died, no-one is in prison…”
“I don’t get what the big deal is… you write for a living… they are just words…”
Explaining the excruciating pain of sharing your own words, rather than words that someone else commissions, ‘edits’ and pays for, is difficult.
Commissioned words are a transaction. A business deal. I want them to be good. But if you are paying the bill and you want to litter it with dodgy capital letters and grammar, you will. I know. I have tried to stop you.
I have spent so many years explaining why chief executive (although a well earned title, doesn’t warrant capitals) neither does north, south, east or west (when talking about a part of Cumbria).
But my words. My poems? They are mine. I am alone responsible and the weight is heavy. They will never be ready to share. There will always be a little tweak somewhere.
At our workshop, the lovely Susan Allen pointed out that Wordsworth didn’t finish ‘The Prelude’ and that he and Coleridge often “edited” each other’s already published works!
So when a frustrated friend doesn’t get what the big deal is about sharing poetry and states: “no one died, no one is in prison…” they have a point.
They are just words.
We started this month’s Painting and Poetry course with a bit of playing with paint. Then Polly Atkin read her poem “Rain” and hearing a proper poet read proper poetry totally stumped me.
Thankfully she had this great photo of bluebells and so the Ode to Bluebell began… fast writing, no thinking, cracking.
Then having a go at writing about rain.
And then bringing words and paint together in a playful way.
And at the close of the day, we checked out each other’s work.
So another month of painting and poetry with The Wordsworth Trust and artist Alison Critchlow flew.
The painting hat has more bits of discarded paper in it.
The discarded word hat is empty.
The poetry keeper has a few more words to look after.