Saturday, September 08, 2007

Go Barbara!

I have my own wooden spoon today mixing in an imaginary wooden bowl. Imagine my surprise to log onto blogger and find a little message nestling in amongst the other ones, hinting that it might be a good idea to look at the Guardian Poetry Workshop pages, for August's challenge set by Matthew Sweeney.

Imagine also logging into the OU message boards this morning to find messages of congratulations about the same! I had to go and look... and was absolutely delira and excira to find my poem picked to feature in the workshop results. There were a lot of very accomplished poems in the final mix; I noted another OU student had her poem picked too, which is a great testament to the Creative Writing courses that the OU have created. I originally posted the poem on this blog as part of a challenge to write a poem a day using the ten line prompts that Sweeney had put up. Funnily enough, the poem that everyone responded best to, was the one that was chosen.

Reading through the feedback given on the poems, I saw that Sweeney really went for poems that made dramatic use of the lines, that used realism and unique language and steered away from abstraction - something I usually find hard to do in writing, because we just can't help commenting on what we write, even though we try to do it subtly. It's a knock on effect of the way that people think - everything is cause and effect with humans. His point was, I think, that the scene or image presented should invite its own comment or judgement from the reader; leaving the door open for as wide an interpretation as possible, I guess.

So this is another thing I am taking with me from all the writing this year: let the images/sensory perceptions do the talking for you and always use as many of the senses as you can - hmm, shades of that submission call that Rob posted the other day about Making Sense. And speaking of Rob, if it weren't for the initial challenge that he made to other poets about getting off our bums and writing on as many of the prompts as we could, the poem would never have been written in the first place. So thanks Rob :)


Kay Cooke said...

Wow!!! Fantastic. Congratulations! I'm sure it's just the start - or part of the on-going road - to success.

Debi said...

Please may I have your autograph ...?

(jumping up and down in delight for you that you are receiving the acclaim you deserve)

Unknown said...

No CB, start is good, I like that!

Autograph, Ms Alper? Why, certainly :))))

Debi said...

Ooooh - look, everyone! I've got that Barbara Smith's autograph (rushes off to ebay ...)

Unknown said...

hee hee :)
Will you share some of the profits with a poor poet...?

Colin Will said...

Congratulations Barbara. It is a good poem. It gets its impact from the intimate realism, and its strength from the precise use of words in the right context.

Unknown said...

Thanks very much Colin. I reckon I might try this one out in a journal or too :)

Gatepost productions said...

Listen to the humm from the borg....can you hear it?

For those who can't;

the borg hums that B7 of A215 is a bloody genius.

Well done B7; this will keep me in smiles for a week!

Unknown said...

Thanks telmis, big grin from ear to ear here :)