Thursday, 5 February 2015

Conditions for the creative process

The BMS (big move south) continues, with 46 boxes of books packed. That's for all of them bar a few that are still lying around. I'll be taking two books of poetry to Sydney in my luggage. But the process is coming to a close, with only the removalists coming tomorrow to finish packing the rest of my household effects. That means I'll be whiling away the weekend on my laptop probably, because if there's one thing I cannot do without it's the life online.

I also crave the musicality of poetry. It's funny considering I don't own a stereo and only usually listen to music on the radio in the car. But the music of poetry moves me. The other day - just a day or so ago - I was sitting here reading through old poems and alternately reading and weeping. Silently the tears fell down my face as the music of the poems mingled with the old emotions that had been encompassed by them.

And despite the disruptive influence of the BMS I wrote a poem this morning. It's called 'The weather' and as usual it's a sonnet. I am getting into stride with sonnets now I think, after working with the form for about seven years. One aspect of the sonnet that's becoming easier to negotiate is the volta - the switch of theme or style at line nine, at the start of the third quatrain - and so I can quickly switch tone or subject now at this point, where before I hardly even thought about it. At least in the beginning, that is.

One thing that really helped me was being able to talk with a woman who not only writes but also teaches writing. During our discussions we touched on many of the characteristics of the sonnet. She also suggested other forms for consideration but for some reason I still stick with the sonnet as I now find it a sympathetic form for me. It suits me.

Writing in the middle of a major disruption like the BMS - or any other kind of major change of life - is a challenge for anyone. So I was slightly surprised this morning when I opened the file on my computer and started the first line of the new poem. But once the process was finished I was happy that it had been begun. The theme of moving house forms part of the subject matter for the sonnet, so the whole complex of feelings and emotions surrounding the BMS is included in the poem. I'm not sure when I'll publish it, or where, but I have been putting other poems on Patreon in recent weeks. Go and have a look if you're interested.

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