What can Citizen teach me about Poetry?

Been digging deep for the next poetry collection. Filling a purple notebook with ideas, often written in prose.

Sometimes lines just spin out like poetry.

Then I type them up. During type up sometimes words and lineation change.

Sometimes metaphors are born.

Sometimes phrases that surprise HAPPEN!

Then I revisit them with what I have been discovering in my mentor texts. These texts suggest experiments. Things to try that I might not have done before. Or I see that I do something that poet does already.

Had some positive feedback from my mentor recently (and a new question) and the journey continues!

This is my reflection on Citizen and I have written some new poems based on this reflection (those are top secret for now).

Citizen by Claudia Rankin – Devices/Observations.

There are no titles only sections I – VII.

There is often a use of the second person you – to put reader in the shoes of the narrative speaker- the reader, you must inhabit the body of a black person.

Her series of vignettes is very prosaic at times but then there are these massively poetic metaphorical lines that just pop out at you

‘the sky is the silence of brothers'(p. 89 in citizen- very moving )

‘a novelist with the face of English sky’ (p. 115)

that said the work progressively becomes more and more poetic to express a depth of sorrow and critique of society that is indeed lyrical.

She mixes memoir, essay and the poetic. There is the mention of other texts and citations, like from James Baldwin. Something about the way she quotes them makes you want to read those intertexts.

There is the integration of photographs, surreal art works, multimedia scripts and more.There is an engagement with popular culture / tennis/ academic texts/ everyday life, news.

By referring to you I sometimes feel like the poet is in dialogue with herself, trying to understand herself, or the person she is embodying.

She deals very deeply with the objectifying of the ‘black body.’

She has great compassion that does not judge for the black person that rebels and responds to prejudice in the ways they have access to.

So what next? What do I read next after the mentor texts?

Daily reflection 1

People gather for doughnut discount
the ordinary becomes extraordinary
Why lines too long and crowded for safety?

A mother places her child in a boat
before she disappears in the river
a mystery
Perhaps she saves him before herself?

Selfish and selfless
side by side.
Where is the owl to sort them?

The world swirls
pandemics and poverty side by side
warning song of the owl
calling for dialogue.
Questions gather like feathers.

Where is the owl?
Can humanity gather the souls to
Give them wings?


Responsive reflections, written in response to daily events.

Poetry Journal

13754269_10208841819975717_2804688684460520908_n.jpgToday I am beginning to keep a poetry journal again.

It’s a way to unpack the day and approach things with creativity and imagination -a sheltered place for daily writing exercises and ideas.

Today’s topics Pokemon Go and Ladders of Music.

Also I’m aiming to read a new poet a day.

The pictured journal was made by my daughter for Mother’s Day.

I want to hand write as well as type some of my poetry journal.

I wrote this for my facebook status statement today.  I think it needs to go in my poetry journal as something to keep reflecting on.

“Music – a ladder for the soul, a ladder to optimism, a ladder to a smile..”

Do you keep a poetry journal?