Poster poems

A call for poster poems

There should be a place for more original poetry to be posted and shared – let’s start right here.


Inspiration can bloom in spring…

Anyone who spends a bit of time on the Books blog must have noticed the huge number of original poems, rhymes, pieces of doggerel and all manner of other verse that has been posted in recent months. Now, for me, this is something to be encouraged – celebrated, even – so I’d like to propose a dedicated space in which original poetry and verse can be shared and discussed.

First of all, I’d like to make it clear what this blog is not. It isn’t intended to be another poetry workshop; this isn’t a place for poems to be appraised by a professional poet, after all. No, poems can and should be posted here for the enjoyment of anyone who happens to see them, and all who do see them can comment, if and when they want to.

Neither is this column meant to cut across Carol Rumens’ excellent and extremely popular Poem of the Week series, which introduces a wide range of interesting and vital poetry new and old.

This space is for you to show the rest of us what you’re up to, what you’re capable of. It’s also an opportunity to have the kind of immediate relationship with an audience that is all too often unavailable to poets, no matter how well-known they are. What I had in mind was to set a theme or form (or maybe both theme and form) and then let it rip. If there’s enough interest, perhaps we’ll have a weekly thread.

Naturally enough, the kind of freedom afforded here brings with it certain responsibilities, but let’s try to keep the rules to a minimum. Beyond the restrictions already in place in the talk policy, I’d suggest three more rules. First, no plagiarism. Any poems posted here must be your own original work. Second, all criticism of other people’s efforts must be constructive – we’re not here to score points, and it’s always good to remember that the person you’re being cruel to today may be commenting on your poem tomorrow. Finally, this is an open shop. Any registered user can comment on poems posted here whether or not they share work of their own.

So, all that’s left is to come up with a theme for this first week. Last weekend we had both the vernal equinox and the celebration of the Christian festival of Easter, with its lingering echoes of earlier fertility cults. The days are already getting longer, and this weekend the clocks go forward. Birds mate, lambs frolic in fields (or at least those that escaped becoming Easter dinner do). It’s spring again. Shakespeare said that sweet lovers love it and EE Cummings celebrated its mud-lusciousness. Not all poets have been quite so keen, however. TS Eliot famously described April as “the cruelest month”; for Wordsworth it was the season to “lament/what man has made of man”, and William Carlos Williams thought of it as the time when “The pure products of America/go crazy”.

But what does it mean to you? You are cordially invited to post your poems on the subject of spring, interpreted as narrowly or broadly as you like. Oh, and no longer than 20 lines, please, but in whatever form you like – including no form at all. Over to you; let the games begin.


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