Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Few Odds And Ends

It’s been a strange few months. Not that anything obviously out of the ordinary has happened, but I’ve found myself busy at every turn. There are the usual things which make life busy, none of which are relevant to this blog, but on top of that several reviews had to be written and I found myself writing poems too. I thought I might have enough to draft a new manuscript. When I slotted them together, it turned out I had more than enough – to my considerable surprise. For some reason, I’d been feeling highly unproductive and every poem I tried to write was taking me ages to finish, but I suppose three years of writing adds up.

Then I got involved in writing a cento of a century of Scottish poetry, using 100 lines from Scottish poems, one from each of 100 poets, and fusing them together into something new. I probably don’t need to say that such an undertaking is liable to drive anyone mad. Looking back on it, it seems like I must have had a lot of fun, but I’m certain that wasn’t how I felt during the process of writing the thing.

I went to hardly anything at the Edinburgh Festival and have hardly been out anywhere since. I hardly read a blog post all summer. The poetic side of my life has been writing and revising poetry, along with a few reviews. I couldn’t think of anything to blog about, so I didn’t. Yesterday, I woke up buzzing with ideas for blog posts, so it seems a good time to start up again. Not that I have much more to say today.

It is a rainy Sunday afternoon and the forecast is for rain on each of the next five days. It is the 50th anniversary of my church and I am off to an event there tonight. I am looking forward to finding out how Kona Macphee and Sophie Cooke got on in their week in Lvov and I read a few Zbigniew Herbert poems last night in anticipation. I am listening to the Waterboys playing Yeats. I have just finished The Best British Poetry 2011 edited by Roddy Lumsden and enjoyed it – will say more later. I read the September issue of Poetry and enjoyed that too. I just wish we had a magazine of similar quality and range on this side of the Atlantic. I was pleased with the list of people elected to the Poetry Society board, and I hope they can make a difference. And I have perused a mountain of books sent for review in Magma – still trying in vain to narrow it down to 12. I could tell you what I had for breakfast but that would be pushing at the far margins of what this blog can contain.

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