Archives for posts with tag: creative process
Image

Image from the February 1912 issue of Pictorial Review, courtesy of the Old Design Shop, a vintage image treasury.

Preheat a deep pan of golden leaf.
In a large bowl split bitter chicory.
Lift out the notes that made sense
at the time. Turn up the heat.

When sulks and stews have almost evaporated,
You will have a sweet smelling slush.
Whizz to a powder, this interesting theme.
Return to the pan if you wish.

I was delighted to discover I am not the only creative to have derived inspiration from recipes. Yesterday, I was introduced to Leonard Bernstein’s “La Bonne Cuisine” (1947) on BBC Radio Three. Bernstein translated recipes from La Bonne Cuisine Française (by Emile Dutoit) and then scored them for voice and piano. The four pieces are Plum Pudding, Queues de Boeuf (Ox Tails), Tavouk Guenksis
and Civet à Toute Vitesse (Rabbit at Top Speed). They are most entertaining and worth a listen.

Here’s a clip of “La Bonne Cuisine – Four Recipes for Voice and Piano” being performed.

I tweet as @BeadedQuill about all manner of things that capture my imagination. BeadedQuill is also on Facebook.

Please also have a look at my latest book, In the Ocean: a year of poetry.

 

Photo credit: Bananas (2006) by photographer Steve Hopson, www.stevehopson.com. Via wikicommons.

Photo credit: Bananas (2006) by photographer Steve Hopson, www.stevehopson.com. Via Wikimedia Commons.

10 hours ago
I must remember
to tell everyone
about this
banana.
Post.

4 hours ago
Dumplings!
Post.

a few seconds ago 
Now,
finished my poem!!
Post.


Yesterday evening I read this post, 7 Ways to be Insufferable on Facebook. Ohmyme! Guilty, of all seven misdemeanours, I am quite certain. The post made me laugh so much and 3) The Literal Status Update with its banana-contemplating stick figure, especially so. I couldn’t resist. Here’s another gem of a very short Monday poem/non-poem. It’s almost literally as short as a status update.

In other literal update news, I had an all-day workshop yesterday. There are parts of my ribcage that ache when I breathe out too deeply. I had not realised my ribcage could ache when breathing. Is this normal?

Also, the BeadedQuill blog is now two years old.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

Nos Liberavit

“the maiden’s voice soars
and plunges
as she elongates the siren call”

Image “Midnight Harp” courtesy of Esmira

Star of Sirius, lapping Star of Sirius

Yesterday my poem “And a” was inspired by a CD of The Best of Boogie Woogie. Quite coincidentally, on June 3rd last year I posted a poem I’d written many years ago in response to a piece at a jazz concert.

Music has long been a source of great enrichment in my life. Playing in amateur and student orchestras during my younger youth, I spent wonderful times in the company of musicians. I still play my viola, though my endless attempts at Kreutzer, Mazas and Bach are at present only for myself and my neighbours. I listen to BBC Radio 3 obsessively and have discovered spotify playlists. For writing and typing, I often return to a rotation of predictable material: Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”, Depeche Mode, Crystal Method, Fever Ray, Gotan Project, Putmayo’s French or Italian Café. Bachata playlists are a current addition. It helps that many of these tracks are strong on rhythm and known so well to my ear, that they don’t distract me from the task at hand. Sometimes I try to sing along, but my lyrics tend to be surprisingly inventive. This is a poetic license of sorts, I suppose.

Thanks to the immense generosity of friends and happenstance, I have enjoyed some of London’s finest musical offerings: LSO and LPO concerts, ROH and ENO opera productions, Cadogan Hall and Wigmore Hall chamber recitals, opera at Holland Park, renowned string quartets (Kronos Quartet with Laurie Anderson, the Borodin Quartet playing Stravinksy) and free recitals of many kinds – a Polish jazz trio at the Yamaha showroom, Guildhall student recitals, a cellist streamed playing in a boat suspended above the Southbank Centre. At such performances, I’ll often pull out my notebook. I did so recently during a performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall, simply to note the sensations that the music evoked. These included “a bold shadow on the pavement” and “Christmas pudding alight, then served with custard”.

In Night-Star of Sirius (of 2008), my poetic associations were more pointedly directed by the piece’s original title. I have since become more relaxed about allowing associate creative disciplines (art and other literature, as well as music) to trigger a seemingly unconnected creative response. After all, a poem may form yet from the moment towards the end of Verdi’s Requiem that is as “a napkin laid down after a satisfying meal”.

Wikimedia Commons image under an Attribution Share Alike 3.0 license. Author Jeff Dahl.

Baby arrived in the post

The real, hard copy of my latest book arrived on my doormat this morning. With 132 pages, she makes quite a substantial volume. My babies are getting bigger. (Click the image to preview “In the Ocean” for yourself.)

256px-Piano_Keys

Piano Keys‘ by Truls (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

One two three four
One two three. And a 
oneity two three four
one two three _ [fine]

Oneity oneity oneity oneity
oneity two three four-a
yeah ah peep for
Parp twoity three _

Oneity two me four
this song’s three four-a
want to join me? 
Catch twoity three _ [Da capo]


The beginning/end-of-the month weekend when people move from their rented accommodation proves a fruitful time for random pavement bounty. Yesterday’s gift was a plastic bag of abandoned CDs. It was Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin that first caught my eye, but home with me also came Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morrisette’s soundtrack to my mid-adolescence, and the wild card, twenty tracks of The Best of Boogie Woogie.

This afternoon I’ve been listening to the Boogie Woogie CD.

In today’s Guardian, television presenter and Forward prize for poetry judge Jeremy Paxman writes that contemporary poets write for each other, rendering poetry irrelevant to ordinary readers. This may indeed be true. I write most often for myself and an imagined ideal reader, rather than The Public at Large.

Together with the Boogie Woogie his comments inspired some self-indulgent pseudo-improv.

So here-above, and a-oneity two three _, is a song just for me. Readers, join in if you wish. Performance directions are included. (Da capo means ‘return to the beginning (lit. head)’ and fine indicates the end of the piece. I.e. to perform you must follow verses one to three, then repeat verse one.)

If this arrangement doesn’t please you, take some wisdom from ‘Pine Top’ Smith. In Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie he calls the crowd to,

“Mess around!”

And a
oneity twoity three four. Forget those poets.
Make your own poetry! Mess around.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill 
Facebook: BeadedQuill 
All BeadedQuill’s books are available for preview and purchase. Click on the links below:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

Hot off the press! My latest book

I am very excited to announce that my latest book, “In the Ocean“, is now available for preview and purchase! Simply click on the image to access my Blurb Bookstore. This volume collects together all 104 poems of my recent 2×52 project. For those of you who are curious about creative process, you will enjoy the postlude essay which accompanies the poems. Like the cool ocean on a warm day, this volume offers a refreshing dip with each poem. It’s perfect summer reading!

vintage rooster image, visit to the farm, chicken chicks illustration, farm animals clipart, barnyard animals

Image courtesy of The Old Design Shop, a vintage image treasury.

stuffs
extrapolation
exponential
resonate
apt
assimilate
peanut chickens
plait

As promised yesterday, a current list of favourite words. Bachata should also be included, but it didn’t really fit with the rhyme and rhythm of the list. Follow me (@BeadedQuill) on Twitter for the latest on my current favourite activities, which include AfroCubanLatin dancing. I’m also on Facebook (BeadedQuill).

When I’m not dancing, I like reading. So, I decided to write a few books myself. You can preview them by clicking on the titles:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

An old list of nice words that became a poem.
There’ll be a fresh list tomorrow. Do return to read it.
Yours, BQ

Image courtesy of The Old Design Shop (http://olddesignshop.com/), Vintage Image Treasury.

In response to the questions often posed to me about my writing, I have decided to introduce a new feature on my blog:

Please explain…

Send in your questions about a particular poem, a running theme or even a line that puzzles you. If you’re curious about the creative process behind a poem’s existence, you may ask about that, too.

Here is our first submission. “Please explain…”

This month I once again
neglect to pay into a pension,
fertilize a good egg at ovulation
or further my career. Untoward

outcomes will result! In twenty years
it will not matter
that I didn’t
write this poem today

This poem (Five Consequences of Repeated Actions) covers recurring discussion points of so many of my (female) peers at present: the difficult job market, not being able to put aside financially for the future and the biological clock. The further question is – of all the things you do in a day, which one will be the most important? If you do not pursue your calling (e.g. writing), will this really have an effect in twenty years’ time. Does what one do today really have such a huge outcome on twenty years down the line?

Of course these eight lines are a little autobiographical. (Some say most writing contains a kernel of autobiography.) I question myself about my professional status. (I don’t have one at present.) I freak out about not making adequate provision for my retirement. (I’m just grateful to pay my rent, buy groceries and then blow a fiver on a night of dancing.) The ticking of my biological clock created a recent panic. (After visiting the assisted fertility specialist, I am allowing myself an 18-month/2 year window period to get my health in order before revisiting the biological clock issue.)

I write daily and try to remind myself of my commitment to this path and craft. But for what? Will the world really be any poorer for my wallowing in creative self-indulgence, when perhaps I should be paying into a pension and salvaging some sort of career track? The literal and literary irony of this little poem is that it does exist. Whether or not it hovers in the ether in twenty years’ time is an outcome yet to be determined.