Reading On the Go

Dealing with Critics

February writing goals.

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Full Member
Sep 25, 2014
Prompted by new member @Richard Wilkes

I read cards professionally, Tarot cards and playing cards, and also runes. I am currently reading Futhark by Edred Thorsen, about the magical as opposed to divinatory use of runes. These are the basis of all Germanic languages, and remain at the root of many words in modern English; fee, answer, ride, need etc, but were always used, not simply as an alphabet but as a metaphysical symbol system. There's no certainty though, about many practices because these relied on oral traditions, and there are long gaps in that history.

I also tutor English Lit, the new GCSE. This involves revisiting childhood reading and genning up on whatever's likely to appear on the curriculum. Right now, this means Skellig (again) David Almond, and various modern poets, Hughes, Larkin and Hughes, and even newer ones like Billy Collins.

I like this Billy Collin's poem. Go on, let's torture poetry...and fiction...make them cough up their secrets, when we should be placing our ear to the hive, and listening to the hum. 1986/1988. Spot on, well said, that man!

Introduction To Poetry

I ask them to take a poem

and hold it up to the light

like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem

and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room

and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski

across the surface of a poem

waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do

is tie the poem to a chair with rope

and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose

to find out what it really means.
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Dealing with Critics

February writing goals.