a blog to share my word-whispers and nearly seventy years of poetry

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Layouts using verse

First I took the image top left, then I wrote the words
not sure of the source of the lower pic
I wasn't intending to produce another post today, but the catalyst for so doing was a comment by one kind person on wanting to see more verse with my artwork, and the second was that, having nothing better to do this evening, I was trawling through back-up devices from defunct computers to re-catalogue and sort hundreds of document and image folders. 

It's the same tree, but distorted to fit the column height
And I came across one from four years ago when I began to think about combining my photographs into a themed piece, and writing verse to accompany it. It is all very amateur and I have moved on since them. The experiments were more about transferring text and images onto fabric than worrying about the words; and then the products I was using were altered in composition and I had to move on. 

Actual experiments; the text is transferred onto muslin, and stitched
onto an old paper bag stamped with text to 'distress' it.
The photographic image, too, was transferred and stitched into place.
This gives a better idea of how a layout can become a finished piece.
This was to be part of a winter quilted journal utilising my own painted papers; and it was the last very hard winter prior to this one - 2009 when there was snow and ice for weeks on end and we could only stay warm in one room. This post will perhaps enlighten you as to why I compose what I need for a project. Sometimes the images come first; at other times, I write the text and go out looking for images. I can assure you that the perfect image to fit existing text is much harder than the writing to suit a photograph. So this is the most recent phase in all these years of writing 'poetry'. Though actually it forms a very small proportion of my overall output. Oh, how commercial that sounds. I write when I write and never mind the why or wherefore.

I am not sure whether the photographed words will be legible; the photos wee only ever intended as a record of the layout. Try clicking on them and see what happens; apologies if you are bewildered or frustrated.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Keeping a promise

I promised to write a 'thank you' poem-whisper for my first follower - and almost immediately I had two, so hello to Shena Meadowcroft and Susan Ernst and indeed all those who are brave enough to read the work of a word-spilling old woman. I kept my promise and wrote this as soon as I awoke this morning, though there was an interruption to the flow of words, as you will see.

Please click on the image to read it at a larger size.

My posts will continue, probably grouped by topic and time of year. Some will have images if I wrote to accompany pictures taken for a project; others will tell you why they were written, or where, or what we were doing. Some you may have seen in my other blogs, but I personally think it will be good to bring them all together (I warn you there are thousands!) - and if you are reading this blog for the first time, please scroll back to the first post, written yesterday, as that explains why I have created this.

At the beginning ...

In 1946, a year before I left London and started high school, I discovered poetry. A book given me by my beloved godmother had me captivated - an anthology with verse from different centuries, and in no way pandering to a child's lack of years or understanding, though it was called, I think, 'A Child's Garland of Verses'. Twelve months later, by then aged nine, and together again as a post-war family, we ventured 'up north' following my father's orchestral conducting appointment. I felt lost and out of place, and a year younger than all my fellow form-mates.

My  English teacher for the next five years (and in view of what has followed she became beloved, too), realising my fascination for words, encouraged me to write, and published my first attempts in the school magazine. Ballads at first, for we were studying poetic form and genre at the time, and later blank verse. She nurtured my passion for the poetic form; my words became a deluge and subsequently a flood. I am still writing.

Shelves are lined with filled notebooks, boxes overflow with scraps of paper, words are even stitched onto fabric; for I will write on anything, from supermarket bills to the surface of a stone. Whatever falls to hand as the words spill. And as there is no other logical place to create an anthology of decades of poetic writing, I will do so here, and remember dear Miss M. and how I became so enthralled by the beauty of language and the emotions that poetry can generate that I cannot stop.


Here are three of my latest pieces, written for a paper and textile 'Quilted Garden', all specially written for the January fabric pages. Click on any image to view it at a much larger size.

Sometimes the poems are written to fit images I plan to use in textile or scrapbook pieces, sometimes, as here, they are part of a series. Often they are just observations, or to celebrate a particular occasion or commemorate and event. 


I have been known to ‘write to order’ as a challenge, and, to tempt you to follow my new blog, I will write a poem-whisper for the first person to appear as a ‘follower’. Wicked of  me, I know, but at least you can test my competence that way!


I find that writing word-whispers and poem spills are a great relief in times of stress … they arrive uninvited and unbidden … and become a part of me, a record of my life, and of who I am.