Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Easing into April and GloPoWrMo

The past month has included bronchitis, Easter break and motherboard failure, but I've come out the other side in one piece. I actually managed to get a lot of editing done because I didn't have the breath to get out of the house much until this weekend. That final poem is 'done', my collection is off on its first jaunt to a publisher and Spring has finally arrived in Finland, making every little success that much better.

It's also National/ Global Poetry Writing Month - NaPoWrMo. I'm already too behind the game to write a poem a day. So I think I will focus on finishing some poems that have been hanging around for a while or are mid-process,  try to get some of them finished. This article on Trish Hopkinson's site looks just the ticket to get me going. Expand before you pare down. 

I tend to write reams before I start to shape a poem, but sometimes when a poem is flailing and you're ready to give up, going back and expanding on the language and ideas can be a good way to breathe life back into it. 

What will you do for GloPoWrMo? Check out the official website for ideas and writing prompts.

I thought I would share a poem from a lovely Scottish poet I heard read last month, Christine De Luca. I was totally shocked to hear that she would be reading in Finland, so in the midst of my bronchitis I dragged myself out to hear some poems in English, Shetlandic and Finnish. Totally worth it to hear her work and to catch up on some names I knew from my time in publishing. 

She read with Finnish poet Riina Katajavuori and it was interesting to see how much I could or couldn't understand of her translations of Christine's work and her own work. I even had a translator give me her card, suggesting she could translate my poems into Finnish. Very tempting, but I can't even think where to start with that.


A poem from Christine's website, in Shetlandic, the Scots' Norn hybrid dialect of the Shetland Islands. 


Celebrate in wirds

True poems steer up athin dat inner space,
an touch dat hert-holl at we tocht intact:
dat blissit place we geeng tae on wi ain.
Dey open hoidey-holls we’d bolted fast.

Der wirds is dew apö da speeder’s wub:
gems ta winder at, ta daey wir straff.
Der music an der rhythm’s shape can baith
say 'dance!', say 'birl!', say 'celebrate!'. Foo saft

der tizin is dy trvvel roond da heart,
open wir een ta newness or a sicht
o foo a coose o patterns play der pairt,
mak space fur wis, yet rowe arrond wis ticht
ta hap wis safe fornenst wir doots and faers.
A poem is wir meid, wir hamewird licht.


hert-holl: the very innermost part: tocht: thought; geeng: go; hoidey-holls: secret hiding places; apö: on; daev: lessen; straff: anxiety; tizin: tempting; trivvel: gently grope; foo: how; coose: heap; wis: us, rowe: wrap up; hap: wrap in shawl; fornenst: against; meid: landmark to guide fishermen

Christine De Luca, Luath Press, 2005


And here's a poem by Riina Katajavuori: 


Viesti

Kadut, raitiovanunkiskot, kahdeksikot ja kirkon piikki
pakatuina hiljaiseen kääroon.

Nenällä laskeuttu adressi
johon on kirjoitettu jonkin sitaatti,
luen sen ensi kertta.

Olen syvällä hatussani.
Nostan tuleen,
kaupunkini. 

Amazing how I can recognise most of the words, but they just don’t come together as poetry for me yet.

I’m going to have to hunt out more poetry readings to attend as I really enjoyed going to this one and chatting with other artists, writers afterwards. Like old times.

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