July 09, 2010

Poetry's Reasons

poetryProfessor David Morley presents the last podcast in our series of Poetry Challenges. This episode is called Poetry's Reasons and it's about how and why we write poems.

Prof Morley challenges you with two small exercises that attempt to remind the writer how individual and strange our relationship with words and language is, and how a writer's personal reading, listening and writing are intimately linked within any poem.

Don't be shy about sharing your responses to this poetry challenge here on the blog where others will be able to appreciate them.

To finish the series Prof Morley shares a poem that he has recently written, You Were Broken, listen to the podcast to hear him reciting it.

You Were Broken

The amazed, massing shade
for the glacial valley, made
from a single araucaria
that smashed its way
by micrometers of birth-push
under five centuries of dusks
of carbon dioxide and rainfall
against its unrolled, harbouring roots;

and the roots took the rocks in their arms
and placed them, magically,
like stone children, about itself
as it unfolded its fabulous tale:
of the wood heart mourned to flint
by slow labour and loneliness,
by whatit could not reach, yet see
at distance, and of the sound of that sea,
and of the cruel brightness

of butterflies and grasses,
foreknowledge of their brevity,
of a heard stream, overhearing
prints of otters on its plane stones,
gold wagtails sprying over
the gravel and shallows of courtship;
of orange blames of gall-wasps, honey fungus,
the watch-turning of tree-creepers;
of blights of summer lightning,

of fire damage and that dark
year's mark worn secretly,
a ring, forged inside a ring;
then the winter's coronation closing
in a swaying crown of redwings,
cones, drab diagonals of pine-fall,
the lead winds hardening, and while
the stone children wept with rain
the great tree sheltered them.

David Morley


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Warwick Challenges are mini academic challenges from University of Warwick professors, set via the micro-blogging service Twitter (and also via this blog).
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