The Poetry Place

Monday, 25 October 2010 11:47:35

Monday, 25 October 2010 11:47:35
Just messing around with the lines...

It's October.
we're
clinging to the
hope of wringing
some last drops of sun
out of the year
And leaves, not yet brown,
are clinging to their twigs,
pears are clinging to their branches too
before flinging themselves onto the soil or grass beneath.

I rather like the shape of this but I don't, now, like the repetition of clinging in the penultimate line and 'we're' on its own looks silly.

It's October.
we're clinging to the
hope of wringing
some last drops of sun
out of the year
And leaves, not yet brown,
still cling on to their twigs,
and pears are fixed to their branches by their fingertips
and with the sudden whipping wind
flinging themselves onto the soil  beneath.

Better, I feel.  Too many ands.

and pears, fixed to their branches by their fingertips,
with the sudden whipping wind,
fling themselves onto the soil  beneath.


Clinging on

It's October.
we're clinging to the
hope of wringing
some last drops of sun
out of the year
and leaves, not yet brown,
still cling on to their twigs,
while pears, fixed to their branches by their fingertips,
with the sudden whipping wind,
fling themselves onto the soil  beneath.

I'm almost satisfied that this is not awful.  The main word I'm not happy with is 'fixed'.





Autumn

Friday, 22 October 2010 16:27:10

Friday, 22 October 2010 16:27:10
It's October and we're
clinging to the hope of wringing
some last drops of sun out of the year
leaves, not yet brown, are
clinging to their twigs, pears are
clinging to their branches too before
flinging themselves onto the soil or grass beneath.

It's October
and we're in the waiting room
waiting for winter
can't quite settle
is this how the hedgehog feels
wondering if it's time to creep and hide
time to swallow one last slug
before powering down?


Autumn

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 10:35:49

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 10:35:49
I also like the idea of hibernation.  We are waiting for the dark, to enter the long tunnel of winter from which to emerge into spring.  Many other animals are sensible, just bed down and sleep.  Save on the heating, save on food, save on everything / just find a comfortable duvet / and snuggle down till spring.
Snuggle is a bit twee - but its also a nice word.

But autumn is a strange time - not one season at all but two or more. September and most of October we are still harvesting. Many flowers are in full bloom.  Sure, the wind is now chill and there is a hint of frost in the air but the leaves are on most of the trees. 

There's a clinging-ness about this. Fruit still clinging to branches, leaves still clinging to twigs, us still clinging to the hope of warm days.

None of this is taking much form, though - have you noticed. I'm beginning to wonder if there will ever be an autumn poem.  But sometimes you need a lot of mulling over - something you aren't often able to do in school...


Autumn

Monday, 18 October 2010 10:02:54

Monday, 18 October 2010 10:02:54
The answer to that question is, sort of...

I am beginning to feel autumn as a kind of waiting room. Or being on the runway awaiting take-off. That, of course, should be the feeling of spring and perhaps it will be.  But for now it is as if the trees are waiting to drop their leaves; flowers are waiting for the first frost; beds are waiting to be cleared, rubbish to be collected, burnt. 

We have closed the door to summer
But not yet made our way to winter
The corridor is -
   -  long but lit by only slowly fading light - windows onto landscapes made romantic by fiery sunsets - native birdsong resilient in the brances - fruit rotting gently under trees...


Autumn

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 14:50:29

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 14:50:29
..are plentiful.

Plenty for the birds, plenty for us and plenty to rot down in the borders. Leaves beginning to shake down but they don't really get going till late October, November - then, suddenly, trees are becoming bare.  Smells - pears cooking with cinammon and sherry...     but outside there's a stillness and a lack of smell, almost a feeling of waiting.  Waiting for winter, or the very end of warm days.  Though we have at least four seasons I think most of us have a binary feel about the year too.  Too cold  / warm enough to do certain things - sit outside, go out without a coat, turn on the heating... you know the kind of thing.  My mum used to have a spring  / autumn process, putting away summer clothes (with moth repellent), getting out the winter ones and making sure they were aired and presentable. Do people still do that?  We do, but only to a very small degree. The warmer duvet is now on the bed! 
Any thoughts leading to poems?


Autumn

Friday, 8 October 2010 15:29:56

Friday, 8 October 2010 15:29:56
Of all the images I now associate with autumn - that is, with the version of autumn I am experiencing at the moment - the strongest comes from my own garden and the flowers that are hanging one in there plus the fruit. It is not a big garden but there is an old old pear tree and a newish apple tree, both of which produce bountifully. The pears are too high to reach so you wait till they fall and just collect the undamaged ones and the ones unpecked by the blackbirds. The leaves have not yet fallen, but the pears...


Autumn

Wednesday, 6 October 2010 13:48:41

Wednesday, 6 October 2010 13:48:41
Unfortunately, this -

There's puddles in the playground
Raindrops on the window pane
We can't go out today
It's wet play, wet playtime.

- leads me to more description of interiors ( kids and teachers in corridors, coats hanging on hooks/falling on the floor) than exteriors and autumn somehow gets lost in the process.

It's not where I want to go. So I'm going to start again by going outside and feeling what it's like.




Autumn

Tuesday, 5 October 2010 7:51:15

Tuesday, 5 October 2010 7:51:15
In which case, I'm a bit limited as I can't get out into streets and woods. Within that limitation, what might we have?

There's puddles in the playground
Raindrops on the window pane
We can't go out today
It's wet play, wet playtime.

Where is my school?  In my mind it's it's one I've been working at in Scunthorpe but the views from the windows or even the playground are limited to houses and chimneys.  Perhaps I can re-situate myself in another, recent one with a 'broader' view.  Thinking all this through I find myself wondering if this is 'cheating' in some way.  Strange thought, which I'll ignore for the time being as I see what else I can come up with.




Autumn

Friday, 1 October 2010 10:43:39

Friday, 1 October 2010 10:43:39
Hey - it's Friday again and guess what - the rain isn't lashing - it's drizzling. The sky is white/grey and you need the lights on all day.  In school they will be having wet playtime. The weather is bipolar. Yesterday we had clear clear blue skies (more than one?) and autumn crispiness following a day of blustering wind and rain. Now we're back to blurry blurry times.     I am beginning to think that my Autumn poem may be written from a different persona - perhaps the pupil with the wet playtime.


Autumn

Friday, 24 September 2010 15:50:06

Friday, 24 September 2010 15:50:06
Instead of crisp crackling leaves, it's branches broken, pears and apples on the ground, some squelchy, some nibbled by birds. Rain lashing against a window and a grey-white sky. Short bursts of blue and a shaft of sun and then the blinds are drawn again. Ivy is waving in the wind and there is the odd bird burst of birdsong, then relative quiet. 
Tomorrow may be different....


Autumn poems

Thursday, 23 September 2010 10:54:30

Thursday, 23 September 2010 10:54:30
A title calculated to strike fear into any poet or English teacher's tender heart.  Lots of falling leaves, crackling, crunching... and, well, you know the rest. So is it possible to write about autumn or spring without collapsing into cliche?  A primary school where I was working last year seemed to get some good writing from Y6 pupils through the tried and tested method of taking them for a walk in the park. Observation observation observation!  That, and a reading of Keats' poem, no less, seemed to do the trick.  (And this, in a school right in the middle of town, by the way, not a leafy suburb or bucoloc backwater.)

So, can I write something about autumn?  That's quite a challenge.  So I must do what I recommend to others and observe observe observe....


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