These are linked poems created week by week for a year, inspired by the book No Choice But To Follow, and the poets therein who did it first.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

November #1

Or Any Other Kind Of Pen: a Romance

One word lingers over a blank page
ephemeral, almost transparent, fading
as it wafts away uncaptured.

A second word strays in its wake
vanishes beyond thought, distracted
by a fascination.

There is a mild stir. 
A sentence appears.
For how long? And what was the crime? 
Dragging itself out into the open,
dangling voice and story in front of a jury?
Off the page with you!
Don’t even think of it!
Out!

But: mightier than the sword, a pen 
strides into view, leaps to hand, brandishes
ballpoint, strikes a blow for freedom and
in one frenzied dash crashes across paper
leaving a stream of consciousness
full of mixed metaphors
and darlings needing
to be murdered.

Words tremble as the world they’ve created
comes to a full stop.

— Jennie Fraine

4 comments:

  1. I'm totally in love with this romance poem! :)

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  2. I love this! "leaving a stream of consciousness"...perfect!

    But now I have to ask...Rosemary once told me whilst helping me edit on of my poems to "murder my darlings." What does this saying actually mean?

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  3. Ha ha Delaina ... is this an Aussie-ism? Darlings = beloved but do they do the best job at saying what must be said?

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  4. No it's not an Aussie-ism; it was reportedly first said by Alfred de Musset to Guy de Maupasant, whom he was mentoring. (Though I have seen it attributed to other, English writers too.) Apart from that, Jennie has nailed it, but I'll elaborate a little. They are the bits of writing you are so thrilled with and proud of that you would change anything but that. Often they are the very things that should go. A strikingly beautiful simile might interrupt the flow of the writing, whereas plainer language would serve better. A phrase which perfectly says what you mean might skew the rhythm. And so on. If you resist changing something even if the poem as a whole would be better if you did, it's one of those 'darlings'. Murder it so the poem will live!

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