Passion for Poetry
Myles writes: I love writing poems. When you write a poem you have to ignore everything else. You have to get lost inside its rhythm and story. It’s usually a peaceful place, unless it’s a sad sort of poem in which case it’s often cathartic even if it’s not peaceful. On the opposite hand, writing screenplays (which is what I’m usually up to) can take weeks. Writing poetry is usually a lot quicker. I like that about the process. The idea, the intention, the act of writing, the rewriting and the completion are tied together in time. A poem is the equivalent of an illustrator’s sketch – a quick watercolour painting done using instinct. I don’t write them for anyone else either really. They are written by me and mostly for me. Though of course I hope other people will enjoy them too! Sometimes they are for the grown-up me, sometimes for the child in me.
I write stream of consciousness or ‘instant’ poems (you can read these on Instagram here). I hash them out on a beautiful, blue Brother typewriter than I bought from Mr and Mrs Vintage. I like to use the typewriter because it doesn’t have email, Internet, Facebook etc. etc. It just types. No distractions. It’s very liberating. Inevitably when you write like this, you get some great ideas, but they aren’t quite in a finished state.
One of these ‘instant poems’ was the basis for this latest published poem. It’s called Singalongabingbong and is a nonsense rhyme. It has the same rhythm as Sing a Song of Sixpence. The published version isn’t quite the same as the instant, stream of consciousness version. I like to use the instant versions as the basis, the starting point. Then I develop them further if I like them enough. Although I do like the immediacy of poetry and the process, occasionally one can take days to perfect (as was the case with one entitled Yuri Gagarin about the Russian cosmonaut. I drove my closest ones mad with all the variations of that!)
The Caterpillar and The Moth
I’ve just had my second poem published in the wonderful Irish Caterpillar Magazine. If you have kids you should subscribe … there are four issues a year and each contains some lovely short stories and a collection of wonderful poems.
You can also subscribe to the grown-up version The Moth. Both magazines run poetry and short story competitions throughout the year – some with big cash prizes too!
Poetry Picture Club
If you want to read the whole poem … well, you’ll have to buy the magazine! Or watch out in 2018 for the Poetry Picture Club. It’s a poetry comic project that I’ll be doing with my friend and illustrator Wilm Lindenblatt. We’ll be releasing 52 poems altogether – one for each week of the year of 2018.