Saturday, February 21, 2009

End of Part 3

Well, I've come to the end of Part 3 of The Big Red Book - the poetry section - and I've now got this week to fine-tune the poems I've written for my TMA 03.

All-in-all, I've enjoyed this section, although not as much as I'd hoped to. I think that's probably due to the fact that I wasn't keen on the style of the author of this section, one W. N. Herbert who, while he may be an award-winning poet, has much to be desired, for me, as a teacher of poetic creativity.

I have to confess to being quite exasperated by his style throughout most of the section but, while, to be fair to him, he got across what he wished to teach, he did it in such a way that I was gritting my teeth throughout!

I had the feeling that, with every word written, he had subconsciously, maybe, put in just how great a poet he was, but I have actually learnt a lot more about the processes of creating poetry from a book that was recommended to me by a previous student of this course: Stephen Fry's An Ode Less Travelled. In this book, the learning process was put forward with humour and grace, and a slightly self-denigrating mode that, frankly, was a lot easier to swallow than W. N. Herbert's more, 'Look at me, aren't I clever!' style.

Despite all of this, however, I was introduced to a variety of ways that could stimulate my creative processes and, although there were one or two I hated with all the passion in me, they did get the juices flowing, and so did what it said it on the label - got me to write poetry in a more expanded way than I have done so previously, and also got me able to be more self-critical of my work!

The next section we will be working on, after my poems are finally submitted, is Life Writing.
I'm still not quite sure what this will involve totally, but I guess we will be exploring our own, and other people's lives, and the reasons behind why some people feel the need to express aspects of their lives in print. We shall see!
Anyway, after I've submitted my poems, and have had the result back (I'm not hopeful of the same sort of results as my last TMA in this!), then I will post my efforts for all to read and laugh at!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Discovering Ideas

I have been a most fortunate person in my learning experiences.

I had a good education, starting at my mother's knee, where she taught me how to read and write even before I had started infant school. I then went on to enjoy a good education at various schools during my growing up years, and continued on for a year after leaving senior school, before I unfortunately had to give up my educational quest, due to financial pressures.

Sadly, it was many years after this before I was encouraged to resume my quest, and it took a lot of persaution from my husband and daughter before I felt able to sign up with the O.U. to follow the dream I'd had for years!

I've now reached the half-way mark in my bid to gain a BA (Hon) in Literature & Humanities, and I find it such a privilege to be able to do such fantastic courses, such as this present one of Creative Writing.

There have been times along the way when I've hated what I'm doing, as I have been stretched far beyond my comfort zone and, no doubt, as I go on to the Level 3 courses I need to do to complete things, there will be even more, but - and this is a big but - I can't see me wanting to change things, so as to make things more easy for myself, otherwise what's the point of all the hard work I've already put in?

I think we all need challenges, whether it's from education, or any other aspect of our lives, otherwise we wither and fade away - yes, I know, not always in a physical sense - but in the way that we see things around us, in how we enjoy the discoveries brought to us by those who still have got seeking minds, and by the sheer joy of being alive in such an age of information readily avialable to us!

I sat here this afternoon, working a little on one of the poems I'm going to be submitting for this next TMA (Tutor-marked assignment), when I realized how privileged I have been, and it quite humbled me, and made me even more determined to do my very best as I continue discovering new ideas.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Busy, busy, busy . . .

I confess to being rushed off my feet (not in a literal sense, I hasten to add) with all the work I'm doing with this latest section of The Big Red Book, as we students of the Creative Writing course are calling our coursebook!

I am now on the Poetry section and, while not really enjoying the activities set us, am aware that, by stretching our knowledge, we are, hopefully, being tempered in our poetical arts!

While busy with the activities, I'm also concenrating hard on the next TMA we are due to send by the 27th of this month, and there has been much pulling of hair, muttering, and frantic reaming through poetry books, to make sure the poems I write are as technically perfect as I can make them.
It's as well that I'm doing most of this on my trusty laptop, otherwise I'd be chin-deep in screwed up bits of paper! Lol

There are a group of us who have got together to critique each other's work, and it has been a godsend for all of us, as panic tends to blind each of us to faults in our own work, that we can see immediately in others'. - There is a scripture about splinters and logs that that this definitely brings to mind!

Here's one of my earlier efforts, although not one that I sent to our tutorial forum, so I haven't had any feedback as to whether it's any good or not - I leave you, the reader, to decide:

Source Code

Animate matter, we all call it life,
now needed, and wanted, we call it the prize,
that sits on the cusp of eternity,
hands clasped demurely, all soft in the breeze of
resounding echoes, grown large with the ease
of chasing dark shadows, that gradually freeze.

Particular places seem full of this thing,
of vital, strong motion, all needing to bring so
many together, that seek, like themselves,
old and new friendships, where all laughter dwells.
resounding around all the halls, we seek out,
perhaps in mistaken desire, we peek out
haltingly, true, at all things that we strive,
in living this life, before hope was alive.

Soaking up atmospheres, both grave and bold,
and seeking to understand all that is old.
though given that all of us hope to live life,
is that why God gave young Adam a wife?
or is it that we hate to think of our fate?
Never give up, know it’s never too late!