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Poetry & Prose

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Last week I decided I was becoming stale – the worst obstacle to creativity after writer’s block. Having blitzed Children of the Vines and gone through the intensive process of publication, I resolved to put novel #3 in the trilogy on the back burner.

Fine! This relieved some of the pressure. I’d identified the reason for my reluctance to write and my dissatisfaction with the results, however, having solved one problem, I was now confronted by another: How do I refuel the creative fires?

The solution, I decided, was to resurrect my long-neglected poetry and see whether I had enough for a slim volume, a chapbook, to be exact. Poetry and prose activate the brain in different ways, and I am relying on this difference to allow my novel-writing synapses to rest while allowing the poetry to work its magic.

Following my own intuitive understanding of these differences, I read several papers on the subject, and all seemed to agree that poetry stimulates areas of the brain associated with music, it is correlated with introspection, with human awareness, and the understanding of others’ beliefs.

Of equal importance, for my purposes, is the role it plays in refining the ability to write prose.

Poetry invites the writer to encounter the subject at the deepest level, while simultaneously condensing it to its essence. In other words, it discourages verbosity and compels elegance, both of which are essentials in all written forms. Since I am also a songwriter, the composition of language is important to me and has always contributed to my writing in terms of what we call ‘prose music’ — the melody of sentence construction, pacing and dynamics.

Revitalised by this decision, I’m now finding my enthusiasm returning, even while I wrestle with the frustrations of editing my old poems. But, all writing is frustrating, prone to the vicissitudes of human emotion – one moment transported by joy when the perfect phrase presents itself, the next, ready to throw the writing out the window, and the computer with it!

Since I also sketch and paint, and dabble in photography, illustrating the book will contribute to the pleasure of this project. I’m an old I.T. person, and love messing around with the design process, using all kinds of software to achieve the results I desire. Never underestimate the importance of fun in all our creative endeavours.

So enough discussion! Having talked about it at length, it’s now time to buckle down and do some more work.

I look forward to sharing the results with you, some weeks from now.

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