A new half term, new words - or at least a new direction. I have been working on some sonnets recently, trying out the form to see what it is that has attracted so many writers. It's become a way of keeping a journal - especially on holiday when there's time for such things.
But in order to begin a new sonnet, or a poem of any kind, I need a subject and I need an angle on the subject. Waiting for inspiration is the posh name for it. Inspiration. Which means breathing in, I guess. Perhaps it's that moment when you think, with a sharp intake of breath, ‘Ah, that's it - that's the idea!’
Well, it does happen. However - sometimes you cannot just wait for it, you have to chase it. I'm chasing it now, wondering whether laying a cement floor in an outbuilding has enough in it to warrant a sonnet. (I'm always going on about being concrete rather than abstract so maybe this is my ideal subject matter!) And some things aren’t right for so public a place as this. If only someone would just give me a topic and an approach!
OK. The past is always a good subject - we all have memories, as I've shown with the poems I've written about my parents. If in doubt, take a childhood memory.
The day before yesterday was November 5th...
First I gather the bits of memory - my dad again, sparklers, squibs, rockets, blue touch paper, catherine wheels which stuck, roman candles, bangers... and bitter cold, gloves, cold breath in the air, and the bonfire. My dad loved fires - so much so that he made flaming torches for us: paraffin soaked rags in tin cans wired to broomsticks! we loved that of course. sometimes there were potatoes roasted in the embers of the fire. no aluminium foil, the skin was black, the inside gorgeous.