I’ve just watched “Paterson” – a Jim Jarmusch film about a bus driver who secretly writes poetry and delights in overheard conversation. It’s a really gentle, observant film with not much action, but a lot of listening. Here’s a really good summary of it by reviewer Mark Kermode, who sums it up as a ‘mood poem”
Listen to this wonderfully calm and thoughtful interview with the Pulitzer prize-winning poet, Mary Oliver (NPR recording 2013).
In under 7 minutes, she conveys the fresh tang of her words, by reading her poem “I happen to be standing”, written during her usual early morning attentiveness to nature and poetry writing time of choice. Then goes on to give some thoughts on the practice of writing poetry and her concern with the natural world:
As a fully-paid up comedy writing fan, I’m delighted by a Youtube documentary “Life before the Flying Circus” – featuring the background to the Monty Python comedy team. I’ve watched lots of comedy documentaries in my time, and will seek out ones on Monty Python – but this programme seems to have the edge over so many I have already seen. It not only has … Continue reading Comedy writing – Monty Python
W H Auden reads his poem about the death of W B Yeats (anniversary today) – not only the passing of the man, but the way poetry lives on in the world after the death of its writer. Interesting to bear in mind that we are listening to the spoken words of a poet who has been dead for over 40 years (died September 1973). Powerful to hear them … Continue reading Poetry lives on
“creativity begins in rest”, a musician muses on creativity and conditions for beginning Continue reading Stephen Roach: Writing on the road
Without even the pressure to dress up, you can listen with the leaders in UK poetry to the annual prestigious award ceremony for the T S Eliot prize – audio recordings now available here.
Reader, if you are a wouldbe poetry writer, then get your hands on this book “Writing Poetry” by W N Herbert. It’s like having a writing tutor patiently helping you – because that’s exactly what is happening – its writer is Bill Herbert, Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University.
Please do take that book token Christmas present, or lean over your local library counter and demand that they order it, or borrow the spondulicks from a pal, to buy this instantly useful and enjoyable book.
Whether you are a beginner, near beginner or have written a couple of hundred poems but still feel like you’re at the start of a writing apprenticeship – this book takes you through the process of developing the skills/craft and – more difficult to explain – the feel for, writing poetry.