before blog — writing and editing

I’ve never been able to sit down and write a poem on command, it’s always been a case of some form of inspiration has caused a poem. The worst situation was when I was driving once down the M6 (a major trans–country motorway) and I had to stop because a poem insisted on being written.

Once the initial work is produced, it will almost always need serious revision. I’m never truly happy with the result, but I have to stop revising at some stage because otherwise I’ll revise out the original feeling.

Finally, I can only express myself in one art–form at a time, so when I’m writing poetry I’m not taking photographs, etc., so at the moment this means I’m not writing, but snapping. In the past, I’ve also written music, and I have long term ambitions to write prose.

I only know Sappho’s poetry by translation, and it is definitely the case that the translation makes all the difference. I encountered one that was not at all formal; very short, indeed, Haiku–esque in feel (“Haiku–esque”—what a horrible word to invent). I’d quote a few lines from it, but the book is still in a box in the garage (I hope).

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