New Tools

I haven’t written any successful poetry in weeks. After I finished Spendthrift, I really didn’t have any spare thought.

Now, I am going back to the daily discipline of trying to write. I’m a bit rusty, but not too bad. The only thing is, that I find myself gravitating to the sonnet. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Sonnets are masterful forms that transcend time and space. But it’s the only form I am actually practiced with, and therefore the only tool I have.

But some thoughts just don’t fit into either the doggerel, the limerick, the clarihew or the sonnet. Somethings just don’t work. You can’t nail in a screw. You can’t screw in a nail. I’ve got to get some more tools.

So I set out on a journey. I am wrestling with the villainelle. Go ahead, laugh. That’s fine. I haven’t successfully written one yet, so the progress report is pretty brief.

Take your.

Spell, sell, pell, dell


So far, my villanelle is a palimpsest. Well, at least that sounds interesting. Until you look it up and the depths of my failure show up on my threadbare sheaf. Wish me luck!


Blankety Blank!

I wonder what can be done with a bad case of writer’s block, a deadline and a competition with my brother. Hopefully, he’s not reading this.

On my joint blog, The Egotist’s Club , you’ll find that I am in the throes of a bitter competition with my brother. It is a Sonnet Dual. The terms are fair and clear, and the deadlines are a very decent 2 weeks apart. The thing is, the original sonnet was inspired by strong emotion and written over a period of many years. Years in which I distilled my pain and focused on rhymes instead of on loss. It was a calm way to ‘dress’ the wound, both in a healing sense, and also in a literal sense. The structure of the sonnet wrapped around the naked thoughts and forced them into decency.

But this time, while I have a lovely idea, and a decent conceit, I have no such strong attachment to my topic. I haven’t got that need to write. And I can’t seem to commit to anything. I write and re write lines, so that my rhymes are yet unformed, noncommittal or else just bad. For instance, ending a line in bower and rhyming it with tower is not really such a good idea. Strong, yes. Tasteful….well…less so.

So I am hoping that Stravinsky was right. (funny typo moment: Stravinsky was rite.) “Just as appetite comes from eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning”.  So I’m off to fight with my conceit, my rhymes, the shadow of Shakespeare, and lethargy. On Sunday the thing will be accomplished.