Monday, March 10, 2008

A Reading, Two Blogs, and a Gap

For any of you fed up with my menu of continual Paradise Lost reports this month, here is some other news.

As you may have already read on Tonguefire, various poets on HappenStance Press, including myself, will be reading at the Troubadour Coffee House in London on Monday 26 May. So to all my friends in the south, I hope you can make it there. I’m going to stay over, so there should be time to catch up afterwards, even if it is a Monday night. More news nearer the time, I guess. Good to see HappenStance continuing to extend its profile and reputation.

I wondered at the start of the month whether Paradise Lost would bring more or less visitors to this blog. I suspected less, but wasn’t certain of that. At the moment, the situation is unclear. A slight tailing-off, but not anything major. One of the good things about blogging is that commercial considerations don't count. I can write about what I want for whoever wants to read it. If no one wants to read it, no line-manager is breathing down my neck threatening to sack me. But if you’re desperate for something else to read, you could check out Andrew Shields’s Daily Poem Project, in which he asks you to vote for your favourite poem of the week posted at Poetry Daily (all the links are at his blog). Or you could read the responses to the first of the questions Poet Hound posed last month - the one about how we can best support poets.

Finally, I haven’t written a new poem for about a month now. I’d like to say that’s because I’m looking towards writing one-poem-a-day in April’s NaPoWriMo madness, but I don’t have even a single idea yet for that. Without some kind of unifying concept, theme, form or narrative, I’ll never manage it. Perhaps Milton will inspire me before March is out…


Matt Merritt said...

I wasn't going to bother with NaPoWriMo, because I'm desperately trying to get a particular project finished by the end of April (although, more for my own convenience than any actual deadline), but I did have an idea for a sequence at the weekend that might be suitable, not least because they'll all be very short poems.
Good to hear about the Troubadour reading - I think I'm flying back to Heathrow from Spain that afternoon, so hopefully I'll be able to get along to hear you all.

Decidedly Bookish said...

I'll try to come along for the 26th. Fancy a drink after? I wonder if Harry's around then. And thanks for reminding me about NaPo - I may well do it, if I can summon up the courage to pick up a pen again! xxx

Jane Holland said...

NaPoWriMo is something I've never bothered with before but might end up using it as an impetus this year, poised as I am on the edge of a long poem or sequence of poems. Not sure about one a day though. That might be pushing it a little.

For a short period in my late twenties I wrote an average of one poem a day, possibly more. But that urgency has lessened. Now I'm happy if I manage one poem a week - sometimes one a month!

Blog hits can be unpredictable. It's never clear to me on Raw Light what attracts readers and what turns them off. No point worrying, as you say. No one's paying us for our efforts. after all. And it all balances out in the end ...

Cuitlamiztli Carter said...

I've been enjoying your Milton posts...

Colin Will said...

I've read extracts from Paradise Lost, but I've been daunted by the scale of the whole thing, and I admire your determination to read it all, and to blog along the way. I read L'Allegro and Il Penseroso many many years ago, and I like his poem On Blindness (reprinted in Michael Schmidt's essay in today's Independent).

My personal poetic Himalaya is to read all of Ezra Pound's Cantos, which I started on a month ago. However, a family wedding, StAnza and other stuff have combined to make the 'walk in' longer than I'd have liked.

Rob said...

Matt, Laura - yes, it would be great to see in London in May.

Matt, Jane - I like NaPoWriMo. I've always managed to write the basis of a few good poems during it, among all the nonsense. I had a glimmer of an idea today, but only the very faintest of glimmers.

CC - thanks

Colin - best of luck with Pound! To be honest, reading Milton isn't a problem. Most of the time, it's highly enjoyable. Blogging about it can sometimes feel like hard work, but I think the making the effort helps me appreciate what I'm reading more.

Background Artist said...

Thanks very much macca, no one can fail to benefit reading this classic, and for the lazier amongst us, your precis and thoughts can act as a placebo, a point of reference to frame out this, until read, entirely hypothetical space in which one applies their prejudice, opinion, ignorance in the general forming of data, second hand proof for one's argument on Milton.

We all wish to appear informed, and in the process, often stray (at least i do) from the purpose and point of poetry, which is to unite and show our similarites, and in the process, as Astley said in his publicity event for his new Eco-poetics book, perhaps even change someone's outlook, and in the most successful of scenarios for the selfish poet, some tangible aspect of their behaviour, life, treatment of others; for the better, to unite humanity with love and peace, instead of sowing discord with division and hate.


On the Poetry Ireland Forum lasyt December, the same thing occurred, and so i will join you, purely for the exercise. A month of a poem a day forced writing will do me a bit of good and i am tentatively sure that at least one effort will be a close imitation to summat real, and if i am lucky and the Muse is generous, perhaps even a stayer.

Throughout my time at Edge Hill, we had to do writing bursts, forced to write in the presence of others, and in fact, it has just struck me that all my early stuff was written in this way, just forcing myself to write, extemporise and this was the first way in for me for the first three years of writing, and so here's to success in print,

grá agus síocháin.

Rob said...

Good luck with NaPoWriMo, Desmond.

Calder said...

Hi Rob!

Good luck on the NaPoWriMo thing, it's a lot of work but you'll probably get a few shiney ones out in the end to make it worth it plus if you don't do, you'll have 11 months to cuss yourself out 'till the next one. lol

Write on buddy!