Trying triolets and villanelles…

In terms of writing over the past week, it’s been all go with poetry and journalism, so I’ve decided to reflect on the second of three peace poetry workshops at the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry.

Last week saw a visit from the project director, Leon Litvack of Queen’s University, who dropped in to see how things were panning out and… I would say things are going fairly well. Our group facilitator, Catherine McGrotty, directed our attention towards two different poetry writing styles – the triolet and the villanelle, of which I had some little experience, thanks to last year’s National Poetry Writing Month challenge. The idea was, of course, to oil our pens, so to speak, and get stuck into the future task at hand – which is inevitably, to create a poem reflective of our thoughts on peace here in Northern Ireland.

And so, I present my triolet as it appeared on Wednesday… although, do excuse its rawness!

The earthiness of fresh-cut peat

moist, rich brown – sliced into clumps.

Heavy arms to accomplish such a feat,

The earthiness of fresh-cut peat.

A sense of satisfaction at a job complete,

Driving over tussocks and mountain bumps

The earthiness of fresh-cut peat

moist, rich brown – sliced into clumps.

Ok, granted, it isn’t about peace, but this was a warm-up exercise, so I’m overlooking that…

Peace poetry group members, with Catherine McGrotty (front centre)

Peace poetry group members, with Catherine McGrotty (front centre)

Next up, was the villanelle – shunned and I’m afraid, abhorred, by many poets (I recall some JHISS writers protesting against it last summer!). For this, we read the brilliant ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ by Dylan Thomas, along with Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘One Art’ and, my favourite of the three – Sylvia Plath’s ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ for a little inspiration.

I won’t reveal my own ‘masterpiece’ yet, as we were to refine it during the week and it awaits completion… Suffice it to say, however, that some beautiful poetry was produced by our little assemble (some of whom are pictured here) and it certainly limbered us up for what is to come… This week: sonnets and freestyle.

The mind boggles.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s