Monday, 30 June 2008

Time Off?

I'm in a bit of a quiet spot for the PhD at the moment, waiting for my supervisor to get back to me. I suspect he's either on holiday or at a conference. As such, I've had plenty of time to get on with other writing. Except, of course, it hasn't really worked out like that. I try to get something written every day, even if it's just a few hundred words, but extra time seems to translate into extra time doing other things, not extra time writing.

I sent off a bunch of poems to various places over the weekend, and it's surprising how hard it is to find zines, magazines and journals that seem to publish stuff from the lighter end of the poetic spectrum. Maybe I'm wrong, and the serious poetry magazines are just waiting for someone to be different, but it seems as if the moment a place decides that it is a 'serious' outlet for poetry, it starts ignoring the existence of light poetry.

Maybe it's just me that needs to write more in line with what everyone else is doing. But then, that's my problem with it. They all put down that they want heartfelt stuff that is unique to you and not governed by form at the expense of that, but then they get free poems that all follow essentially the same format. It's really just another type of formalism, of the same sort that you find in music. Jazz, punk, grunge, they were all formed at least in part as a reaction to more formal earlier styles of music, but now they've got identifiable sounds of their own which half of their players wouldn't dare to step outside. Heaven forbid that anyone should dare play a diminished run or minor seven(sharp five) chord in a punk song, or that people should be allowed to write poetry that isn't 'free' and 'serious'


Andi said...

You are absolutely right - there are no journals I can think of that publish light verse . . . that is sad. . . I'm going to look into that as I prowl around.
But good work for sending out your stuff. . .

stu said...

What worries me is that if John Betjeman, for example, were to start his career today (possibly slightly difficult what with the whole being dead thing) no one would look twice, let alone make him poet laureate.