(Apologies for the slight absence – I have just moved into my new house at uni and have been setting up things like seminars and going to careers events. Scary third year things, ah!)
Looking through the module list for this year, I had a quick skim through my creative writing module synopsis. This year is the first year creative writing has been offered to me, and although I have never actually been assessed on it, (with the exception of small sections of my G.C.S.E. and A Level in English) I was quite keen to give it a go. Looking at the poetry element brought back a few memories.
I quite enjoy poetry to read, in fact, reading as a child I liked nothing more than Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and such like, but there is something about writing poetry which I find innately terrifying. Maybe it’s because in just a few words sometimes, you have to communicate meaning which I usually do in a lot more, using prose.
My tolerance of, and in fact often, enjoyment of poetry, does not come without clauses. I am not unwilling to slap ‘pretentious’ on certain poetry – I will never understand how William Carlos Williams felt that his poem ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ was anything other than a bland description of an equally bland scene, though I do subscribe to some of his ethos. ‘Forget all rules, forget all restrictions, as to taste, as to what ought to be said, write for the pleasure of it’ is something which I do find rather persuasive.
But as for the thought of writing poetry to be assessed, I can’t help feeling choked up. I feel like I have my toolkit full of words, but I’m told I can only use a handful, and there is something about that which I find a daunting prospect. But as we’re always taught, write tightly. I start my year with an optimism that my few lines of poetry will help sharpen up my prose too.