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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A poetry interlude

Now the MA course is on summer break the Indoor Writer was free to attend her poetry group's monthly workshop earlier this week. The theme was 'sound waves' and explored how words and sounds are used in poetry. One optional exercise was to write something in the style of Michael Ondaatje's poem 'Sweet Like a Crow' (if you don't know it then listen to him reading it on this clip, it is a terrific fun piece). If you recognise his name you may know it from the best-selling novel (and film) 'The English Patient'. Writing a list poem is wonderfully liberating. Have a go and let your imagination wander wherever it wants - it's a great exercise to help with prose too.

If you're interested here's the Indoor Writer's poem:

Maternal Thoughts From Abroad

Your voice sounds like candyfloss, pink fluffed with sucrose glitter,
like the golden crackling of creme brulee
like an angel singing in the bath
like someone drowning in kittens,
naked and doused in double cream.
Like a zealot on speed
with a belly full of hot fudge brownie.
A nightingale warming up behind the bike shed.
The vicar's tart on a Saturday night
chanting blessings in the confessional.
Like a blackbird singing on a sixpence
eating bread and honey
like chocolate melting on meringue,
where butter wouldn't.
Like the sound I heard in my own sweet voice
when I called my mother after the forbidden rave
to reassure all was fine and dandy,
the house definitely not trashed into smouldering shame.

[any parents reading the above may recognise that moment when you hear in your offspring's voice the unbearable sweetness of deception ...]


  1. What a wonderful poem, Tracy and yes I think we've all heard that sweet voice from our teenagers (glad mine have grown up!)

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I know you're not a poetry fan but I thought you'd like this one!

  2. What a lovely poem, Tracy. I recognise the sweet voice too! I haven't been writing poetry so often lately and hope I find time for some one day. I think it's a good writing exercise to build a strong image into a small space.

    1. Thanks, Joanna. I rarely submit my poetry anywhere but I find writing (& reading) poetry stimulates and enhances my prose.