I am up to drafting what will be Part 3 of my 4 part poetry project. It’s always in a mixture of excitement and nerves that I move to the next piece having managed a completed draft of another section. I’m halfway through the creative side of my research project. And this year I’m using Pendle-Witch Words by Geraldine Monk with my third year poetry class which brings me closer to the literary criticism part of my studies. It’s wonderful to have such an opportunity to introduce the work of one of my subjects of study to my students. I look forward to seeing how they’ll respond to her work both in their essays and in producing poetry portfolios of their own work.
At this stage my work is aiming to produce 4 pamphlets, linked by theme and various in form. This part, the ‘final’ section seems, to my abilities, most ambitious in its scope. Ideally, as I conceive it in my mind’s eye, I don’t know whether I have the skills to pull it off. There are visual aspects perhaps beyond my means - I’m not an artist but want to make something on the page which seems to call for a more serious level of engagement with aspects of visual art than I am capable of. For another part there is a call for engagement with a reading list which, in my impatience to see the thing done, feels cumbersome but necessary, if I am to make what I am seeing and hearing for this ‘Voice of Reason’ set of poems leave my mind and become present on the page. But perhaps it will transform during that journey from mind’s eye to outer reality of the page - and perhaps that doesn’t matter, that transformation is meant to happen because if I could just photocopy what’s in my head that version would be set and fixed and no other possibilities explored.
So, maybe, I just need to get on and give my ‘vision’, and what I’m hearing, space to develop into something that can exist out on the page. Perhaps I need to follow the advice Patricia Farrell once gave me when my mind was jammed - have a long hot bath!
And meanwhile my ‘woman on fire’ is left waiting patiently in the wings - & I hope I don’t run out of breath before I get to her - though I think by now she probably wouldn’t let me!