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!

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


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

  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?

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

  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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