Archives for posts with tag: time passing
Mulberry Street NYC c1900 LOC 3g04637u edit

Mulberry Street NYC, c. 1900. Image courtesy of the United States Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s been a year,
Yet your presence lingers
in strangers who cross

the road towards me.

In a quest to educate myself and use my time more constructively I’ve scheduled reading before bedtime. In addition to poet and writer Salena Godden’s memoir, Springfield Road, and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, I’ve been reading two or three Chinese poems (in translation).

In the windfall month when I bought Bukowski’s Pleasures of the Damned, I also picked up an anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry translated by renowned scholar David Hinton. It’s taken me nearly a year and a half to delve into my indulgence.

One of the great amusements of some of these poems is the scene-setting provided by the titles. Consider for example:

“On the Summit above Tranquil-Joy Temple” (p. 409)
“On a Boat Crossing Hsieh Lake” (p. 414)
“Written on a Wall at Halfway-Mountain Monastery” (p. 355)
“At Truth-Expanse Monastery, In the Dharma-Master’s West Library” (p. 224)
“Staying Overnigh in Hsü’s Library. Hsieh Shih-Hou and I are Driven Crazy by Rats” (p. 341)

The titles are not all about libraries and monasteries –

“8th Month, 9th Sun: Getting Up in the Morning, I Go Out to the Latrine and Find Crows Feeding on the Maggots There” (p. 340)

I derive great pleasure from imagining the suggested location and atmosphere for the unfolding poem. It’s like reading directions in a script or screenplay. I’ve used a similar device before in my poems (see “118A Creighton Avenue” and “St Paul’s, Covent Garden“), but it’s a comfort to know the greats did it, too. Today’s title unashamedly proposes the verse’s location.

(For interest, my poem “Postmarked from a Café” nods to Bukowski.)

Reference:
David Hinton (editor and translator), 2008, Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York).

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

With the spit and 
fizz of fireworks,
I clinked flutes 
of resolutions
on a New Year’s Night.

Now March, the ashes
have blown away.


A week ago, I wrote about how my effervescent poetry-writing productivity has ebbed. Wail and gnash as I might, not much seems to be helping. In fact, strange circumstances have stalled production when I have tried to propel it.

Last week, for some indecipherable reason, I could not access my wordpress account from my home laptop. Readers on other computers and devices, indeed, in other countries, were able to enjoy the verses on BeadedQuill. But all I got on my screen was a little pixelated Tyrannosaurus informing me that that ‘this page is not available’.

The usual commitments and tasks of my week clattered in. Against them I asserted, come the weekend, I would sit down to writing and posting.

My landlady informed me that we would be without WiFi for a couple of days.

Fizzle.

I know, I know. A writer only needs pen and paper, and imagination. But it’s amazing how the non-presence of one’s hosted blog and WiFi can puncture the already deflating momentum of a flagging poet.

Enough moaning, for I have produced a poem for you today.
Enjoy!

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

It’s been a whole year since the first draft of my first published book arrived in the post for my perusal. It was thrilling to see a long-held goal manifested. My Facebook profile was plastered with gratuitous proud mum pics of me holding up my copy of “Shining in Brightness”. I had hoped my first book ‘baby’ would be a novel, but as all parents know, each (creative) child is precious simply because they have come into existence.

“Shining in Brightness” is available for preview and purchase at blurb.co.uk.

Curious about the origins of this work? Read more about these “poems from a mystical decade” here.