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Susan M Phillips

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Member Since: Dec, 2001

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The Man Who Saved Christmas
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Christmas - only days away; plastic snowmen and glowing reindeer adorn the lawns of neighborhoods all across America. All is calm, all is bright, and yet there is someth..  
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Susan M Phillips



Green Living, Sacred Life

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Spirit of the Runes

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The Book of Dowsing and Divining

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Real Wicca for Teens

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Terror Tales 1 Ed. John B. Ford & Paul Kane

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The Waldorf Street Paradox

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Blogs by Susan M Phillips

Poetry to Form
4/13/2008 3:27:44 PM
-------------------

I'm using the editor this time. I don't usually bother when blogging, but a change is as good as a rest, as they say.

I've been thinking about poetry lately. How it affects us and why we do it. Why do I do it? No good asking you - if I don't know, who does. I've been creating verse of varying standard since I was about four years old (still have that first "proper" poem), but really didn't progress very much until quite recently. I'm always banging on about Stephen Fry's book, but with good reason. What I've learned from Mr Fry has really set me back on my heels and has, I am certain, really improved my style.

Working with forms has been the biggest surprise. It seems, at first glance, to be very restrictive to follow a set formula for verse or content. Actually it can be very liberating, since the fixed format then puts a microscope on the nuances and moods. Irony, subtlety and wit are all possible with apposite repetition. Having the feedback afforded by AD's review facility is also very valuable. I can see very quickly whether readers have understood what I've written. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Take my latest piece, Spring Bride. Go on, take it - well  borrow it at least. Most readers have taken it as a pretty, fanciful bit of rhymery. 

When I wrote Spring Bride, my main aim was to get a bit of poetry down on paper. I hadn't written anything new for a while and I was feeling the need to create. At the same time, I didn't feel particularly creative and so I thought I'd just substitute form for inspiration. The form chosen: rondeau redouble (should have an accent on that last e) includes plenty of repetition, so I only needed to come up with about two thirds of the poem. That was the plan. Just find something to write about and write it. It had just snowed unexpectedly and so the choice was easy. Of course, things are never that simple and I spent  a day and a half trying to come up with the first verse. The thing about the rondeau redouble is that every line of that first stanza gets repeated in turn and so must be very carefully written to allow for this.

I'll be honest; I started off writing about the pretty, pretty scene before me, but as each line surfaced in my mind, the mood changed and I saw what had not been obvious to me before and it turned into a comment on the destructive potential of weather out of season. Snowfall in spring looks stunningly beautiful, but can kill burgeoning plants and animals that have begun the new cycle of life. Pain and grief follow - but then it's all gone and life begins again.

A side benefit, for me,  of writing form poetry is the calming and ordering effect it has on my mind. I'd been getting quite chaotic: forgetful and scatterbrained; but once Spring Bride was underway, I could think straight again. Ordinary inspired poems don't have this effect.

Well, I just thought I'd mention it.



Comments (2)

More Blogs by Susan M Phillips
• Interrogating Ali - an interview with percussionist Ali McMillan - Wednesday, September 21, 2011
• Change of continent? - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• Book Launched - Saturday, July 02, 2011
• Green Living, Sacred Life launch Sat. 2nd July Nuneaton, UK - Monday, June 27, 2011
• Correction to last blog - Monday, March 21, 2011
• Nearly there - Saturday, March 12, 2011
• Happy New Year - Wednesday, December 29, 2010
• Lost a castle, found a forest - Friday, April 09, 2010
• I found my category! - Thursday, April 08, 2010
• New category needed - Wednesday, April 07, 2010
• Raising money to help the homeless and vulnerably housed - Saturday, January 30, 2010
• Happy New Year - Thursday, December 31, 2009
• Making History - Wednesday, December 23, 2009
• Change of direction - Thursday, December 17, 2009
• French sojurn - Monday, September 21, 2009
• My poem is going into print - Wednesday, September 02, 2009
• new profile, new photo - Thursday, August 27, 2009
• From sprinting to spinning - Thursday, August 20, 2009
• Sprinting to stand still - Friday, August 14, 2009
• The tortuous route from idea to bookshelf - Wednesday, July 29, 2009
• Terror Scibes Rise Again - Saturday, March 07, 2009
• Happy new year - Thursday, January 01, 2009
• Chritsmas Blog - where's the dictionary? - Monday, December 22, 2008
• Off to Oxford Dance Camp - Thursday, July 31, 2008
• Friends and Gravy - Saturday, July 19, 2008
• Phew - Thursday, May 08, 2008
• missing but still alive - Thursday, April 17, 2008
•  Poetry to Form - Sunday, April 13, 2008  
• So much to tell, so little time - Sunday, March 30, 2008
• Why the Shrew Had to be Tamed - Monday, March 24, 2008
• Happy Easter William Shakespeare - Saturday, March 22, 2008
• Rock 'n Roll and Education - Wednesday, March 19, 2008
• About that titling experiment...and the other surprise - Saturday, March 15, 2008
• Surprises just seem to happen - Friday, March 14, 2008
• A day in the life of a domestic goddess - Sunday, March 09, 2008
• Blogless - Saturday, March 08, 2008
• Rose Tinted Billows - Tuesday, March 04, 2008
• Aaaaaaaah! - Monday, March 03, 2008
• And today is....... - Thursday, February 28, 2008
• Chocolate Liquor - Thursday, February 21, 2008
• Dogs more interesting than cats? - Wednesday, February 13, 2008
• Titling Experiment - Monday, February 11, 2008
• phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhew - Sunday, February 10, 2008
• head shock - Sunday, February 10, 2008
• Prosody and page stats - Tuesday, February 05, 2008
• Warrior Camp Episode 2 - Tuesday, August 07, 2007
• Frogs, Fireside Shrews and Earth Toilets at Warior Camp - Sunday, June 10, 2007
• New Computer, clean slate - Saturday, December 30, 2006
• Forgot to mention - Tuesday, November 28, 2006
• I'm Back - Monday, November 27, 2006
• Seasons Greetings - Saturday, December 24, 2005
• Fame is as fame does... - Tuesday, August 02, 2005
• Fame ? - Friday, January 14, 2005
• Sue Phillips Invites..... - Sunday, August 15, 2004
• Brainless but well booted - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Highs and Lows - Tuesday, January 06, 2004
• The Christmas Question Many Parents Dread - Monday, December 22, 2003
• Building blogs - Coventry revisited - Wednesday, December 17, 2003
• Blogged Down - Saturday, December 13, 2003
• Smoke Blog - Sunday, December 07, 2003
• Blogging on - Tuesday, November 25, 2003
• Tangled Webs - Sunday, November 16, 2003
• Dream Scenes revisited - Sunday, November 09, 2003
• Fire works - Saturday, November 01, 2003


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