Daniel Williams

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

A Year of ‘Tea, A Tie, and A Red Pen’

In Miscellaneous on 03/09/2012 at 17:24

This blog had been going for a year. This is longest I’ve managed to keep a blog. I think the sporadic nature of the posts make it easier for me, writing posts when I want to rather than feeling I have to every week, or something. I don’t know if this is good for the reader, but it keeps me happy.

Anyway, for the first year anniversary of the blog (which, admittedly, I missed by a couple of weeks), I’d link back to the 5 most popular (by view) posts on here.

5- Summer Reading Challenge

4- Two Poems

3- Valentine’s Haiku

2- ‘The Energy of Slaves’ (1972)- Leonard Cohen

1- ‘Men Without Women’ (1927)- Ernest Hemingway

Despite the nostalgic tone, I’m not one for looking back. I’ve got to look forward. That’s the kind of person I am. I’m hoping I can keep this going for another year. Hopefully with more success in terms of writing. If I get something published between now and August 2013, I’d be pretty damn happy.

Like all creative folk, especially those in my generation, I am constantly torn between creative work, and having to act like a real person and get a job and make money and try to look happy doing it. All the worrying about important things like money, jobs, relationships really doesn’t matter to me as longing as I’m writing. And all I hope is that I never run out of stories to tell.

http://youtu.be/r2pt2-F2j2g

Music and Writing

In Essay, Miscellaneous, Writing on 07/06/2012 at 17:20

I always listen to music when I’m writing. Sometimes I can spend hours putting together a playlist before I even write a word of what I’m working on. The music I pick allows me to really think about what I want my work to feel like, and music helps shut off pesky outside thoughts.

Of course, my own musical tastes play a large part in what I listen to, which would not necessarily be what you would pick. The musicians I really like tend to be storytellers, like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. I really love albums that are tied together with a theme. A few years ago, every time I wrote a short story I would listen to Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks. All the songs are about relationships, ups and a lot of downs, which is what I wanted to write about. It helped that some of his lyrics could serve as openings for stories: ‘Early one morning the sun was shining,/I was lying in bed,/Wondering if she’d changed at all/If her hair was still red.’ (Nerd bonus- Dylan has hinted this album was inspired by the short stories of Anton Chekhov, another great influence of mine.)

Lately, I’ve found then when I’m editing work, I listen to completely different music. I’ve been listening to the first two albums of She & Him. I find their music quite easy-going. That and my crush on Zooey Deschanel plays a part.

I imagine I’m not the only one who needs music to help write. If you write and have to have music, what do you listen to?

(In case you were wondering, the playlist I listened to while writing this is one of my short story playlists. The albums in it are: The Beach Boys- Pet Sounds, Bob Dylan- Blood On The Tracks, Frank Sinatra- In The Wee Small Hours and No One Cares, and She & Him- Volume One and Volume Two.)

Links:

Lyrics to ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ by Bob Dylan: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/home#us/songs/tangled-blue

Video of Dylan performing ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ live: http://youtu.be/YwSZvHqf9qM

Two Poems

In Poetry, Writing on 04/06/2012 at 00:24

Two poems, one written about three years ago, the other written a couple of months ago.

We’re standing…
We’re standing
on a doorstep
before the road
leading to…

-take my hand.

Corkscrew
a
corkscrew
to the heart,
one
wrong turn
and

In Miscellaneous on 23/04/2012 at 09:34

Reblogging a request from Dagda Publishing for sumissions. I’d like to submit something, but I haven’t touched poetry for a while now. Anybody with more poetical output than me should take a look.

Dagda Publishing

Hello all.

We would like to invite writers and poets to contribute to our next anthology of poetry, which is a follow up to our recently published anthology “Concrete Jungles” – available through Amazon, Smashwords on ebook and Lulu.com for paperback copies.

Our plan for the next anthology shall be a very traditional, along the theme of the metaphysical. We hope to feature works dealing with the more esoteric, romantic side of the human experience, in the vein of the classic metaphysical poets. So think life, death, nature, romance and classic philosophical themes. A real chance to showcase your talents as a writer.

We are looking for both formal poetry structures, and more contemporary styles, and even free verse. So in other words, knock yourselves out with this one. We’d like to see what you can do.

Please send submissions (maximum of 4/5 a time so we can give our…

View original post 78 more words

Valentine’s Haiku

In Haiku, Poetry, Writing on 14/02/2012 at 17:26

I was challenged to write a haiku for Valentine’s Day. I wrote three, which is a bit of a failure. If were a really good haiku poet I’d be able to put my mixed feelings into one.

1. Valentine’s Day
bane of all singles
do not be bitter, instead
get drunk, watch batman

2. Old Valentine’s Card
lost somewhere in dust,
all that’s still true is that your
handwriting is nice

3.
when I’m around you
the butterflies in my stomach
become elephants

New Poems

In Poetry, Writing on 25/01/2012 at 19:46

The poetry blog, Dagda Publishing, have published four of my poems here. It’s an interesting blog. They’re just starting out and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they grow.

4 Haiku

In Haiku, Poetry, Writing on 02/09/2011 at 11:01

I’m a big fan of Japanese haiku. Here are a handful I’ve written. If you don’t read my haiku, go read some by Kobayashi Issa. He’s great.

Seaside
Water sparkles
crystal in sunshine,
but wait an hour-
stupid sandwich

Blonde On Blonde
thin wild mercury
swaggers, swoons, lusts, loses, loves,
suffers New York blues

Simple Man
I am a simple man.
I like your smile, your eyes and
the things you say.

Haiku haiku
Still trying to write
haiku that isn’t too weird
grasshopper starlight

‘The Energy of Slaves’ (1972) Leonard Cohen

In Canadian, Literature, Poetry Review, Review, Writing on 06/08/2011 at 15:07

For a songwriter to be called a poet is a compliment, but poetry and lyrics are two different beasts. One man who really is a lyricist and a poet is Leonard Cohen, he published poetry years before he recorded his first album. The collection The Energy of Slaves (1972) was published after his first three albums. Here is one of the poems:

Whenever I happen to see you…

Whenever I happen to see you
I forget for a while
that I am ugly in my own eyes
for not winning you

I wanted you to choose me
over all the men you know
because I am destroyed
in their company

I have often prayed for you
like this
Let me have her

That break between the penultimate and final lines just amazes me. That last line contains such power but is so underplayed. I hear it read in Leonard Cohen’s wry tones. In fact, I hear all of Leonard Cohen’s poems been read by the man himself. His wry, mordant voice echoes through the collection.

Like ‘Whenever I happen to see you…’ the more depressing poems are underplayed in their forms. The poems are often only a handful of lines long, but each word, punctuation or line break counts for something. The poems in The Energy of Slaves are very economical in terms of their form and structure. This next poem is quite probably my favourite break-up/put-down poem ever:

 I did not know until you walked away…

I did not know
until you
walked away
you had the perfect ass

Forgive me
for not falling in love
with your face or your conversation

The oft forgotten side of Leonard Cohen is just how damn funny he can be. Some of his poems really make me chuckle. The wry sarcasm shines through against the more depressing of his poems.

This book is a huge, huge influence on my own poetry. The minimalist style is one I’ve tried to make my own, though I owe Mr. Cohen a large debt in terms of style and in wry humour.

Lighthouse

In Poetry, Writing on 06/08/2011 at 14:58

Poem ‘Lighthouse’ previously published on 14th July at  Dead Beats Literary Blog

Lighthouse

You remind me
of a lighthouse
(I do not mean
you are tall
or striped)
but when I saw you,
I think
I began to see
my way again

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