So, as I stated in my last post I’ve been attending a course studying a MA in Creative Writing since September. I ended up deciding to follow this route as I decided that I wanted to further myself as a writer and learn new things that I could bring to the table both as an individual with my novels and for future group projects, whatever they might end up being.
I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to learn as much as I could from the course and prepared myself for the assignments that lay ahead, but what I wasn’t quite prepared for was the first module; Poetry.
Now, I wouldn’t say I’m the world’s worst poet, but I can quite confidently say that I don’t understand it in the slightest. I knew about rhyming poems prior to the course, but within the first week we were told that we should avoid rhyming in our work unless we were really good with the English language. Understandably this shook my confidence moving into the first assessment as it really was a case of me having to learn a new subject practically from scratch.
The only book of poetry I can remember reading during my life before the course had started was Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy, which admittedly I really enjoyed, but I half credit that to the classic quirky Burton imagery.
Another factor eating away at my confidence on the subject matter was that each of my poems that I created during our lessons were quickly dismissed and usually pointed out as being either too literal or too vague. It seemed like no matter what I did, I just couldn’t work out how to write a half decent poem. The only type of poetry that I managed to gain a grasp on was haikus which I seemed to adapt to quickly.
With my confidence low and no real finish line in sight for how to get better at it, our deadline for our first assessment crept closer every day. We were tasked with writing and submitting forty lines of poetry and a one-thousand-word personal critique of our work. Understandably, this was a big ask for me.
In the end, rather unconfidently, I submitted five haikus based on various everyday occurrences, and one twenty-five-line poem about the life of a professional wrestler. To say I was nervous about it was an understatement, and the thought of failing this module and ultimately suffering for it grade wise in the long run just wouldn’t leave my mind. The future modules I’m relatively confident with, but as I’ve stated, poetry might as well have been an alien language to me.
Today I received my grades for the assessment and I’m thrilled to say that I scored the equivalent of a 2:1. I honestly thought I would be scraping around the 40% pass mark range, so I’m extremely happy to see that wasn’t the case.
The coming modules should be a lot more stress-free for me as I’ve at least dabbled in their styles before. Hopefully I can keep pushing forward and maybe walk away with a 1st. Now that really would make me happy.
In case you were interested, here are the poems that I submitted for the assignment. They’re not fantastic and I wouldn’t think of even saying it, but I hope you enjoy.
The Wrestler (25 Lines)
Mind, body and soul working in
unison for the benefit of voyeurs,
fans, colleagues and the man running
things behind the scenes, pulling
the strings of his puppets for
our viewing pleasures.
Risks taken on the daily, giving
their all to entertain both children
and adults, even against what objections
their bodies cry out; smiling, laughing,
crying through the pain, all in the
name of entertainment.
Fleeting exposure to the masses
coming and going in the blink of an
eye; form being momentary, excellence
being eternal, greatness in the eyes of
the spectators idolizing their heroes,
adrenaline a wonderful sedative.
Years of abuse, now past their
prime, no longer able to move and
perform like their youth, discarded to the
curb, no longer relevant to the times,
hindering those who still have a
chance; retirement calls, but
what is life without this?
A city brims with life,
His desire bubbles within,
Blood quenches all tonight.
New state of the art,
Buy now and receive one free,
They’re always watching.
Muscles tight, sweat forms,
Palms sore, calluses growing,
Two more sets, that’s all.
Heat scorching the air,
Liquid fat, sizzling, spitting,
Hungry mouths, meal done.
Making The Bed
Hot, sweaty summer,
Fabric’s embrace swaddling us,
Changing bedding sucks.