It has been an eventful week with news of awful things and terrible stories that have rocked the country in a number of different ways. My week has been busy in work and with my writing. I also saw my ex-tutor give a poetry reading and my other ex-tutor launch a novel. So the week, here at Poetry24, began on Tuesday this time, and it began with a positive story of astronaut, Chris Hadfield, who talked about his experiences in space and adapting to life on Earth again. We saw this in Hadfield Shows us Earth from Space by Jan Harris, whose poem was, as one commenter put it, written spectacularly.
On Wednesday we began to see a more political side to our submissions, and Peter Flint gave us If Ukip Want To … This Guy’s Not A Kipper! This was a satirical take on the views of the Ukip political party, which Peter had told me he wanted people to know about. The view of the poem was from a Ukip member, which blatantly undermines them and shows them in a negative light, a kind of truth Peter sets out to demonstrate.
On Thursday we had submissions about the terrible and barbaric attack on a man in Woolwich. David Mellor wrote Nothing … which was a simple take on the the idea that another person was dead, highlighting the fact that, although a highly unusual and disgusting attack, it is ‘nothing new,’ since we’ve seen so much death and fundamentalism in the media before.
Undercurrent by John Saunders was about the same news story. This was a short, two-stanza poem written in heavily-loaded metaphors. The idea seems to be an undercurrent of something negative in an ‘aquarium of differences.’ I particularly liked the lines: ‘Sometimes a prey will be preyed on, / a sacrifice made in the name of some god. / Who knows why it is this way and not different?’
I chose Maleficium by Caroline Hurley for Saturday because I thought it a particularly strong piece and I liked the idea of comparing the story to the witch trials. The news story was about a jail terms of up to 14 years for women in Ireland who have an abortion and the story about suicide during pregnancy. I found it extremely interesting how Caroline merged this to the witch trials, beginning with the quote: ‘There were neither witches nor bewitched until they were talked and written about.’
That was our week in news-based poetry, please submit again to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to tell people about us and like us on Facebook.