Over the weekend, I caught a programme on BBC2 about the poets, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (worth catching on iPlayer!) and it had the effect of bringing my poetic consciousness out of hibernation. Yes, I admit it had been squirreled away in some remote corner of late, but I was suitably inspired and I went with it. My previous poetry book where, yes, I wrote all my poems by hand, had given up its final page a short while back, and a new book beckoned.
Listening to friends and acquaintances of Plath and Hughes speak, as well as hearing them both physically read their poems, brought home the idea of the personal muse.
Yes, it’s hardly an earthshattering announcement, I know – to use personal experience and/or people to inspire your work – but most of my poetry is abstract in that it deals very little with my personal life. I write from afar – I use it as an often fictional narrative and while I don’t think there’s anything very wrong with that, this documentary was the spark that made me sit down on Sunday and pen seven poems one after the other in my freshly minted little paperback book (nicely decorated with a stag that’s quite literally blossoming…)
Reading them back, I was actually happy with what I had produced, straight from memory – snapshots of personal events from my childhood – little moments which for me, are the signposts to another time.
I wrote another two today, and was also delighted to discover that my poem, Winter’s Witching Hour, which I wrote last Christmas, had been published in the inaugural ‘Writer’s Corner’ page of a local newspaper, the County Derry Post.
It’s been a poetic reawakening for me these past few days, and I intend to keep it up!