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Journeys

Friday, 14 October 2011 11:11:01

Friday, 14 October 2011 11:11:01
Now off on a journey of my own...  over the seas to DC....

I will be jotting during my travels and be back in the Open Studio at the beginning of November with something to show for it, I hope.


Journeys

Monday, 10 October 2011 16:41:25

Monday, 10 October 2011 16:41:25
More punctuation?  Perhaps. Otherwise it needs to sit now and settle.
Oh, and a title?


Departing now

The guard has seen it all
a hundred times or more
almost always knowing
which one will get on board

Looking over shoulders
rearranging bags and cases
checking watch or one of the
station clock's four faces

This time he's not so sure
Both seem strangely calm
He in that woolly scarf
Half tangled round his arm

She in her chunky jacket
with the collar turned up high
brushing her cheeks:
She almost disappears inside.

unzipping her bag, she reaches in
Brings out something in brown
paper, tied with string...

Shouts and hurrying voices
Drown any conversation
But she hands the package to him
With a sense of the occasion -

which seems, to the outsider,
to bemuse him. Then his smile
returns. The parcel will
tantalise across the miles. 


Journeys

Thursday, 6 October 2011 15:23:57

Thursday, 6 October 2011 15:23:57
World Poetry Day.  Appropriate that I was up writing a parody on Ozymandias before breakfast.

Resolving the remainder of my journey poem:

unzipping her bag, she reaches in
Brings out something in brown
paper, tied with string...

Shouts and hurrying voices
Drown any conversation
But she hands the package to him
With a sense of the occasion -

which seems, to the outsider,
to bemuse him. Then his smile
returns. The parcel will
tantalise across the miles.  

I thought that a three line verse was OK. (Oh, the decisions!) Adds to the sense of things hurrying up.

Cut the reference to hiding the package.

Added/changed the articles in penultimate verse several times. May change again.

The last verse was always going to be a problem. There isn't space/time to tell a whole story and if I put in a quick resolution it will spoil the mystery of the parting. So I leave it to the reader to decide who is leaving and what is in the parcel.  Is that a cop-out?


Journeys

Tuesday, 4 October 2011 12:05:26

Tuesday, 4 October 2011 12:05:26
The first four verses are shaping up:

The guard has seen it all
a hundred times or more
almost always knowing
which one will get on board

Looking over shoulders
rearranging bags and cases
checking watch or one of the
station clock's four faces

This time he's not so sure
Both seem strangely calm
He in that woolly scarf
Half tangled round his arm

She in her chunky jacket
with the collar turned up high
brushing her cheeks:
She almost disappears inside.

Then we have to resolve the remainder:

She reaches down, unzips her bag
Brings out something in brown
paper, tied with string...

...which for a moment
she hides behind her back.

Shouts and hurrying voices
Drown any conversation
But she hands the package to him
With a sense of occasion -

which seems, to the outsider
to bemuse him briefly before
his smile returns

  Patience! 


Journeys

Friday, 30 September 2011 9:23:03

Friday, 30 September 2011 9:23:03
Where were we?

...which for a moment
she hides behind her back.

Shouts and hurrying voices
Drown any conversation
But she hands the package to him
With a sense of occasion -

which seems, to the outsider
to bemuse him for a moment
before his smile returns

no - already used 'for a moment' and unless I want to make the phrase a deliberately recurrent one, I need to substitute something like:

to bemuse him briefly before
his smile returns

I'm beginning to work in rhymes here and there. While re-reading verse two I thought of a station with a majestic old clock which faces four ways and found my image fitted the lines quite well.

Looking over shoulders
rearranging bags and cases
checking watch or one of the
station clock's four faces


Journeys

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 15:27:09

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 15:27:09
...which for a moment
she hides behind her back.

Noises off.  Shouts and whistles
or
Hurryings and shouts
or
Shouts and hurrying voices

One is tempted to put 'Steam hisses.' but it would be cheating!

Perhaps more later. At the moment the brain is tired.




Journeys

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:12:46

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:12:46
This time he's not so sure
Both seem strangely calm
He in that woolly scarf
She in her chunky jacket
with the collar turned up high
She almost disappears inside

She reaches down, unzips her bag
Brings out a package, a parcel
Old-fashioned, wrapped in brown
paper, tied with string
 
What's in it? I don't know.   I'm away on a train journey myself now but I'll be back next week with the next installment. I hope.


Journeys

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 12:58:45

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 12:58:45
The guard has seen it all
a hundred times or more
almost always knowing
which one will get on board

Looking over shoulders
rearranging bags and cases
checking watch or station clock
....................................

This time he's not so sure
Both seem strangely calm
He in his chunky jacket
She in that woolly scarf

Stop - I prefer:

He in that woolly scarf
She in her chunky jacket

because in my vision of her, the jacket is too big.



Journeys

Monday, 19 September 2011 17:26:39

Monday, 19 September 2011 17:26:39
The guard has seen it all
a hundred times or more
almost always knowing
which one will get on board

Looking over shoulders
rearranging bags and cases
checking watch or station clock
....................................

is a general, contextualising opening which is going to get more specific about the two travellers in my mind. No, one traveller - and one stays behind.


Journeys

Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:16:11

Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:16:11
I feel a poem about journeys needs to be specific and concrete.  Mind you, I say that about most pieces of writing, especially poetry. More than that, I feel it calls for a narrative in the way that the sculptured figures inspire in us the need to construct a story for them.
  And they are gone: ay, ages long ago           
  These lovers fled away into the storm.
I shan't try to emulate Keats but I will try to rough out some lines while I'm away in Worcs and Shropshire these next few days.


Journeys

Monday, 12 September 2011 11:58:10

Monday, 12 September 2011 11:58:10
Continuing my collected - or unconnected - thoughts from St Pancras...

Beneath the parting or meeting couple there's a frieze of scenes depicting workers and  travellers, from soldiers going to/returning from war to revellers on the tube platform. Though there are some silent observers and book-readers, what is most common are images of crowdedness, stress and fatigue! There's also another image of meeting / parting in which the woman is looking over the man's shoulder at her mobile phone! One hand cradles his head, the other holds the phone...

Lots of food for thought, images, ideas here.

Not far away is Betjeman's statue, looking the other way. 'John Betjeman Who Saved This Glorious Station. 1906-1985 Poet.'  Isn't it a great description - especially the way it ends with Poet! I imagine Betjeman, with his flapping coast and his cheap bag writing about the couple frozen in their embrace. Perhaps he did.


Journeys

Thursday, 8 September 2011 16:02:47

Thursday, 8 September 2011 16:02:47
Journeys are not necessarily positive, though travel is often seen as a positive experience.  Even apart from journeys made out of necessity - refugees fleeing, workers commuting - even the more everyday journey involves some kind of separation. 

I was reminded of this looking at the wonderful sculpture in St Pancras station. I don't know if it has a title but it shows a man and a woman embracing as if one of them is about to go on a journey. But are they parting or meeting? Who is the one who is going / is returning? We make up our own narrative to fit what we see.  She seems to be searching his face for signs. Where have you been? or Will you write? They seem like lovers and we construct a romance for them but perhaps they are brother and sister. Whatever we construe, this work of art has power. 


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