Category Archives: Poetry

My Life Travels :)

I’ve just been sent this by my Cuz, and couldn’t resist posting it here, as it is just so me at the moment! Lol


I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots.
Apparently, you can’t go alone. 
You have to be in Cahoots with someone else.
 
I’ve also never been in Cognito. 
I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. 
They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. 
I have made several trips there, thanks to my 
friends, family and work. 
I live close, so it’s only a short drive.
 
I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. 
That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.
 
Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.
 
One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense! 
It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! 

At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not.

People keep telling me I’m in Denial but I’m positive I’ve never been there before!

I have been in Deepoo many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there. 
I actually kind of enjoy it there.

So far, I haven’t been in Continent; but my doctor says I’ll be going soon.

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Peter Pan – the lost boy



We are dealing with Peter Pan at this point of our module and, due to my fluctuating health, I’m way behind everyone else. This panicked me for a while, but I realised that I’ve got all this holiday break to be able to catch up. 
Yet another reason to be grateful that I stepped away from all the madness of this season! Lol


It’s been really interesting to read the critics about Peter Pan, and my eyes have been opened to a lot more aspects concerning both the play, and it’s creator, J. M. Barrie.


My whole experience of Peter Pan, had been the story read to me as a child, and then learning to read it myself, and then I saw the 2003 film after it was released. These didn’t prepare me for reading the original play script, and it amazed me how differently it was conceived by it’s author, and how the passing of time has changed the aspects of it’s viewing.


I’ve a feeling that the Disney viewpoint is a much more powerful one to children today although, as it was originally written as a pantomime, and now enjoys a repeat performance as such every winter, that is something fixable – although I suspect that there are a lot more children familiar with the film than have ever had a chance to see the play!


At the beginning of this block in the module, we dealt with a whole section on poetry, and I was reunited with quite a few of my childhood favourites, in the book needed for the module, 100 Best Poems.
One of the poems, The Fairies, written by William Allingham in 1850, is one that I need to use in my next TMA and, on reading it, I could see why it was being used for comparison and contrast with Peter Pan. I’m very much looking forward to using it, as it immediately caught my attention:


      The Fairies

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather.
Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music,
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen,
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back
Between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies set
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather.
        William Allingham (1850)

With the themes of fairies, magic, and abductions, it's a good poem to use, and I look forward to doing so 🙂

One poem I discovered in the book, was  Blake's 'Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright' - a poem that fascinated me as a child, and which I still love today, so it was fortunate that I had to buy the book for the module - it was so comforting to be reunited with a childhood memory! 🙂




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Filed under Childhood, Memories, Poetry, Studying

A Big Disappointment . . .

I guess you could call the following a warning – to any publishing virgins out there, be very careful how you go about having your work published . . .


When the postman knocked on my door this morning, and handed me a large envelope, I was fairly sure it contained the copies of the poetry anthology that my poem had been published in, so it was with great excitement that I opened it – to discover that’s exactly what it held!


In a matter of moments, I’d looked through the index to find which page it was on, and then hurried to look at my pride and joy.


It was with horror, that I saw what was supposed to be my poem, and I sat there open-mouthed with shock at what I was reading. I could have cried, and couldn’t believe that this had been done. I was on the phone within minutes to the publisher, to see what had happened.

Now, to explain all of this, I need to go back to when my final proof copy was sent to me. I had read, then, with horror, the hash that had been made of my poem, and had immediately tried to correct things before sending it back but, with very little space to do so, I found it impossible, as there were just too many things wrong for me to do it in the small space provided.
And so I decided that the only thing I could do, was to re-write the whole thing – the proof copy, and my poem, which I then did so.

I sent it all off assuming, in my printing innocence, that the proof reader would check this final proof against the one they had sent me.


And now, to my despair I saw that they, in fact, hadn’t!


After speaking to a nice young lad at the main office, I was given the choice to send the copies back but, as I told him, it didn’t stop the hundreds of copies already out there – and with my name attached!


I had resigned myself to returning the copies, powerless to change it all, and to the embarrassment of having this . . . thing with my name attached to it – and then, an hour or so later, I had a phone call from the managing director of the firm, who informed me that it was all my fault, as I hadn’t sent a letter with the corrected copy telling of my changes – something that hadn’t even occured to me was needed.

I acknowledged that I hadn’t done this, as I had assumed that both the original copy they had sent me, and the final proof, would be checked against each other and, on saying this, was swiftly disabused of the idea, and told in no uncertain terms that they didn’t do this, and it was all my fault, especially as I had sent a copy of the final proof, and not the original proof they had sent me which, as I told him, would have been impossisble after trying to fit every change in, and making an unreadable mess of it in the trying.

And so the conversation ended with an abrupt, ‘Do you want to send the books back or not?’, to which I replied a resounding ‘Yes!’ and then had the phone slammed down on me!


I sit here, totally baffled as to how a publishing firm doesn’t even check it’s final proofs against the originals. I acknowledge that my ignorance in how things are done contributed to this farce, but I’m also bl**dy angry at the way in which they dealt with both the issue, and with myself in my upset.


I will definitely not be using this firm again, and will be very wary as to how things are dealt with, if I ever have the chance of anything of mine being published again – not that I see it happening, especially with that abomination out there with my name on it!

I figured that I might as well show everyone the two different versions of my poem (which is a Villanelle, by the way). The one I had been proud to call my own, and the version it turned into – I leave it to you, the reader, to decide which one is best . . .

My Final Proof:

On The Trapeze

I fly up here, above the roaring crowd,
my thoughts so hard upon my high-strung deeds –
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

I never thought that I would be allowed
to do the one thing I would always need,
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.

I paused aloft and then, with grace, I bowed
to crowds who came, and let me take the lead –
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

At first it was so high that I felt cowed,
as though I were a lost and floating reed –
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.

I loved it so much, that I nearly howled,
and those who tried to stop me had to cede.
Soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

So now I spend my life as I had vowed –
above the people, who I have to heed,
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd –
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.


And their version:


On The Trapeze
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd,
my thoughts so high on my high-strung deeds –
My heart never lifts with my utter glee.
I never thought that I could be allowed,
to do something that I would always need –
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.
I soar above, and then with grace I bow
To crowds who watch, as I take the lead –
My heart lifts with utter glee.
At first it was so high, that I felt cowed,
as though I were a lost, floating reed –
I fly up here above the roaring crowd.
I love it so much, and I am so proud
Of soaring on my high-flying steeds,
My heart lifts with utter glee.
And now I spend my life as I had vowed –
above the people who I must heed,
I fly up here above the roaring crowd –
my heart lifts with my utter glee.


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Filed under Changes, Choices, Disasters, Final Proofs, Poetry

It’s getting nearer . . .


Just a few days after the spiral-bound version of my course book arrived, another parcel was delivered with the usual copy of the book, so I now have 2 – one I can underline, write notes in, and generally make a mess of, if needs be, and the other I can keep as clean as I would wish. I find this really helpful, as I really hate to deface a book in any way, so I can make use of the spiral-bound copy as a true work-horse while appeasing my conscience that the ‘true’ copy stays pristine.

I don’t know where this need to keep a book as perfect as possible began. It may have been when I was very young as, with a large household, and not much money, my mother treated our possessions as treasures hard to replace. Whatever did it, I find it desperately hard to mar a book, unless it’s made expressly for that, of course! 🙂

It’s becoming a lot more real to me now, that the course will be starting in less than a month, and I am desperately trying to get myself well enough to be able to concentrate on the work involved. It will help that I’ve already got a small support group together – fellow students that have been with me on other courses, and who are doing this one with me as well. We may live in separate parts of the country but, thanks to the Internet, we are barely a second apart, figuratively. I’ve been involved with groups like this on my other courses, and it helps tremendously to be able to show others my work, and for them to show me theirs, so we can comment, and suggest anything that may need changing. The fact that we’re in different tutorials helps as well, as different tutors give a different view on the work we do, so there’s always some new way of looking at things! 🙂

I’ve not done as much writing as I would like this break – I’ve been concentrating more on the refining of work already done – practicing all I learnt on my last course and, although there’s a different slant going on with the new course, I’m hoping the revising will help with the new things I’ll be learning. I am so looking forward to learning how to write scripts! This is something that interested me when at school but, unfortunately, life got in the way of me pursuing it, so this is a chance for me I never thought I’d have again.

I’ve also sent another poem off. I’m getting used to waiting for a response to them, and any critique is always useful! Lol

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Filed under Course Books, Open University, Poetry, Study Group, Studying

And it’s getting nearer . . .

There was a knock at the door just before lunch today and, when I answered it, I found a deliveryman at the door. He handed me a parcel from the O.U., and I immediately brought it into my office to open.

Inside, there was a spiral-bound copy of my new A363 course book!

I’ve given it a brief look through so far, and I am impressed with the quality of the work. I will be very happy to be starting this course soon, and am determined to give the book a quick read-through before the course start date. I could see already that there were words and phrases being used that I’m not very familiar with, so this is the ideal opportunity to go through it, taking note of things I need to look up, and then I’m sure the course work will go a lot more smoothly for me!

It looks like I need to resupply myself with various coloured stick-it notes, and some more notepads to use as a writer’s journal, especially as I’m almost out of it all now!

I am really looking forward to October!

In the meantime, I’ve just sent off another poem for a United Press competition – this one being the Local Poem Competition 2010. I’ve written a poem called Mouth of the Aeron, about the town just a mile or so away from my village, so I just hope the judges like it!


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Filed under Competitions, Learning, Open University, Poetry, Studying

I’ve got a date for publishing!

At last!

I received an email this morning, from the publisher of the anthology, ‘Poetry By Moonlight’, telling me that it will be released in September. I can’t wait to receive my copy, and read my poem On The Trapeze.

Obviously, I can read the poem any time I choose, but to see it in a professionally bound anthology is going to be brilliant! Lol

Not only that, but the other poem of mine to be published, St David Was Born Here, is to be published in November, in the anthology, ‘A Guiding Light’.

All it needs now, is for me to hear from the magazine publishers I sent my very first sci-fi story out to, to see if they have accepted it!

A girl can dream, can’t she? {g}

In the email, United Press were telling me that they’ve got another poetry competition going:

There’s a £100 first prize in the open competition, Fact and Fantasy. You can enter by post or email and make sure you put “Fact and Fantasy” at the top of your entry. Your poem can be on any subject you like but must be no more than 160 words or 20 lines, and you can’t use “Fact and Fantasy” as the title. Send your entries now because this competition closes in September.

Also, there’s a £1000 prize to the winner of their annual Local Poem competition. You must put “Local Poem” at the top of your entry and the theme must be someone or something local. For example, last year’s winner was a poem about two cooling towers. The previous year’s winner was a poem about a river, and three years ago, the winner was about village life.

You could write a poem about a famous person or even a member of your family, living or dead. You could write a poem about your local bus driver or your greengrocer. The same length limitations apply to this competition.

Here’s the link to their website with all the rules and regs, etc:

http://www.unitedpress.co.uk/competitions/

Best of luck to everyone that puts something into it! Lol.

P.S. Only 10 more days before I find out my ECA results!

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And another poem is being published!

I opened my post yesterday, and one of the letters I had informed me that, although I hadn’t won 1st prize in the poetry contest I’d entered, they did wish to publish my poem, St David Was Born Here, in a new anthology called ‘A Guiding Light’.
I am well pleased about this, as the more work I have out there, the better chance I have of being seen one day, maybe!
We can all dream I suppose . . .
There’s no money in it, but I don’t care much at the moment – it’s just lovely that I was considered good enough to publish, especially as this was a national competition, so there must have been tons of entries! I also get to keep the copyright of my poem, which I’m pleased about as, one day, I’d love to be able to gather all my poems together in an anthology solely for my own work – now that is a goal to aim for!

On the sci-fi story front – still no news. But I keep the axiom that no news is good news firmly in mind, and I’m hoping that the longer it takes, the more chance there is that my story will be accepted . . .

Only another 20 days to go before we get our ECA results! I’m really starting to get nervous with all the waiting. Mind you, all the other students I’ve spoken to are in exactly the same boat, and we all think it a kind of torture, to have to wait so long after submission for the results – and, yes, we all understand the sheer volume of stuff that needed to be marked, and marked fairly to boot – but it doesn’t stop the knee-jerk reaction we all seem to have that we’ll fail miserably for one reason or another. I don’t suppose there’s even one student out there who isn’t looking at the work they’ve done, and haven’t found something that they think is a glaringly bad mistake! Lol
But, whatever happens, I’m fairly sure the majority of us will pass, some with distinction, no doubt, although I’ll never be able to place myself in that category – my poor old memory makes sure of that! Lol

In the meantime, we all wait, and hope, and desperately try to distract ourselves with whatever we can until D-Day arrives.

Whatever your marks out there, well done for completing your course!


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Filed under Exams, Memory Loss, Poetry, Waiting