Monday, 10 September 2012

Capturing the essence

Good to eat and they appeal - Farm fresh onions by pupski
 a photo by pupski on Flickr.

If you are trying to capture the essence of a thing in a few lines is this enough of anything to be a poem? I am not sure that it is. If you have a few short pieces together is this enough to be a poem? Maybe, but I am still not sure. Are these short vignettes more satisfying for the writer than the reader? Is it merely an indulgent exploration of the it-ness of things, or is it something more?

Today I have been thinking about vegetables - writing a series of small pieces: each one focussing on a vegetable, and each one short - maybe one, two or three lines long.  I am not entirely happy with all of them yet. i wanted to capture the essence of the thing, but not be too obvious. That makes the process sound a lot more deliberate than it was.  To begin with it was a little more like automatic writing - but that makes it sound less deliberate than it was.  I have changed some words that didn't sound right or that I had repeated too often. It was an interesting exercise. One thing I discovered was that the same words kept coming up over and over (hence the changes) and that overtly foodie words started to creep in too - words like sweet and flavour.  These words are OK in moderation, and the spontaneous nature of the pieces means that I don't want to change too much.  I think I will write a few more and see how (or if) they all hang together. If nothing else it is an interesting experiment.

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