the rediscovery of poets + the discovery of poetry boxes

During A Level English Literature we were asked to study the work of Carol Ann Duffy. I had never heard of her before and thought (as a naive 16 year old) that her name sounded old-fashioned and boring. It didn't take long to discover that her name may sound old-fashioned, but her poetry was anything but. After reading my first Carol Ann Duffy poem I was hooked.

For a teenager, it was incredibly liberating to discover someone who wrote about things that you didn't expect to be written about in poems, and turned horrific situations into colourful whirls of rich symbolism, leaving them subtley tinged with the monstrosity of what the poem was actually about.

I loved the fact that she wrote about forbidden and taboo subjects, and that she did so in such a creative, sensual and beautiful way. Ideas and representations from her poems began seeping into my art during those two years and by the time I went for my interview at art school, my portfolio was brimming over with Duffy-inspired paintings. Some of the pieces were quite vicious-looking, containing physical interpretations of her savage words, while some were more subtley perverse.

Other than CAD, I've never been terribly into poetry - and although I can appreciate the clever use of simile and metaphor just as well as anybody else, nothing has ever resonated with me quite as much as her work.

The reason I am writing about this now is that I recently read an article about Poetry Posts in Portland (typisch, darling!) - and it's a pretty neat idea.

Poetry Posts are popping up in front gardens all around Portland (you can see a map of their locations here or check out this poetry box app) and usually consist of a wooden post with a clear-fronted box attached (which faces outwards so it can be seen by passers-by), in which there is a poem, or sometimes prose or a photo.

It's a pretty neat way of communicating, making people stop and think, making people smile or just sharing your favourite things with others. If you're in the area, why not join the Portland poetry box Google group or even get your own poetry post!

In fact, why should it be Portlanders who have all the fun? I'm kinda tempted to set one up in my own little community... just as long as it's not one of Carol's!

2 hellos:

Siobhan said...

I think you could set one up in your building? The residents would probably be up for that!

Vixie said...

I imagine I probably could - especially in my uber-creative corridor. The only problem is that whenever we have tried to put up pictures or anything in the building they always get taken down... Perhaps we could have a lockable box!

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