Friday 15 October 2010

Writing slumps and prose poems

I went into a bit of a slump after my dissertation. I knew that it was going to be hard when the course ended - there is always an element of grieving when something comes to an end. What I didn't anticipate was that I wouldn't be able to write. I went into a kind of writing wasteland, I wasn't even inspired to write any blog posts and this went on for several weeks.

I am happy to report though that I have, if somewhat tentatively, started writing again. I wrote several small things last week, one of which was a prose poem. The prose poem is an interesting development. I wrote my first one in the first term of my MA. David and I had gone to Derbyshire for a short holiday and we were staying in an old (and damp) cottage by a church at the top of a hill. I don't know if it was the change of scenery but I found myself writing in a completely different style to usual. I wrote a poem which I originally called "Sin-Eating" and is now called "Lent". The poem is written in a child's voice and has a slightly American feel to it. The narrator is part of a large religious family and the poem is a kind of stream of conciousness narration. I was pleased with it and it drew a good response from my MA class who requested that I write more in the same vane. Unfortunately though, this didn't happen - no more writing in this style was forthcoming and I wondered if it was perhaps a fluke, a one-off inspired by being in an unfamiliar environment. When I was writing the poems for my dissertation however, another prose poem emerged and appeared to be in the same voice as the first one, and then last week I found myself writing another. I was surprised but pleased and am wondering if over time they will develop into a small collection.