4 Classics on my shelf I still need to read

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – I thought this book was longer than it is. It’s actually a reasonable length. I’ve always struggled with Charles Dickens. I know his books are supposed to be humorous? I have never been able to recognise that, trying to get past some of the language and obviously society was different then. I did read Oliver Twist and I liked that one. I will give this a go. I’m sure I have already read some of it.


Howard’s End by E. M. Forster– I read a few pages and I had to put it back down. I find with some classics the way women are spoken of and to is too much. I like to chill with a book sometimes, not only for education and getting angry. I did read A Passage to India by this author, it was recommended by my English teacher at the time and that one I did enjoy. I will have to re-read that.


The Waves by Virginia Woolf – I love the way this woman writes, but. But this didn’t grab me. I put it down and haven’t gotten around to picking it up again yet. I read some of her books and I think I was too young to fully appreciate them. Like Orlando, didn’t get it. I read a lot of classics around the age of 11/12 and while I enjoyed them, I don’t think I fully appreciated when, why etc. they were written and about the writer. I think I just absorbed them.
I love the cover of this book, only cost 80 pence in the 70’s. If only books cost that now. I mean, postage costs a couple of quid.


Far from the Madding Crowd – I read Jude the Obscure when I was 16? Love the name Jude. That’s all it took for me to read it, the name Jude. And that was me done with Thomas Hardy. Done. Too much. Bit like poking a bruise, curiosity made me buy this one, I bought Jude the Obscure too, and perhaps I will read it. Will I re-read Jude the Obscure though? I’m not sure.


 

Spontaneous poem. When Blogging.

when blogging


to blog

first you must have an idea, however small –
ideas are like dough – they rise higher than you ever thought they would

then some courage is needed
to put the idea into words on a page

when they are words on a page, they must be edited –
not to perfection –
the odd typo –
let’s make it a puzzle to see if anyone who visits will notice –
(i certainly didn’t)

when cutting and pasting *remember* to keep formatting as it is –
and schedule it for next Friday
and not accidently backdate it to last Friday
(which i certainly didn’t do and never have)

Google popular tags and times of day best to post –
i still do this after 5 years –
you would think i would learn –
open Twitter & check hashtags other bloggers are using –
become distracted –

reading their blogs
and your TBR list has gained several new books –
oops, just like that

if it is a book review blog –
do include if the book was an ARC –
i promise my unbiased opinion –

make sure the post has images
and in preview –
check the paragraphs haven’t bunched together –

is the blog connected to social networks –
post automatically –

have i titled the post – no
no – think
for ten minutes
on something that will entice the reader – draw them in –
realise laptop is 2 per cent away from running out of battery –
save blog
schedule to post
and breathe.

@k_lpoetry


thank you for reading this spontaneous poem. if you want to read other poems, i posted one here a few days ago and another here last week. You could also become a subscriber of my Patreon and find lots of my poems on there.


 

Four Questions with Martin Grey

 

 


 

1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

 
I’m a Nottingham based performance poet and event organiser. I spent the best part of a decade writing poems I barely showed to anybody, before starting a now defunct poetry blog in 2011 and nervously taking to the stage for the first time in 2013.

 
My poems tend to be about little details and connections to people, objects and time, but I also write nonsense and found poetry when the mood takes me. I try to layer a positive social or political message into my poems, but generally prefer to leave it under the words for people to find. I consider it a compliment if three people read a poem of mine and take three different meanings.

 
I’ve always been drawn to nuanced and character focussed writing, especially in poetry and song lyrics. I used to blow my early teenage mind exploring all the possible meanings in 90s lyrics from the likes of Richey Edwards and Gruff Rhys. Today, I still find that poets who have had the most influence over my writing tend to explore these same themes. Mike Garry’s poem “Made in England” is a great example of this.
My writing is also strongly influenced by how many incredibly talented poets there are in the East Midlands. Just seeing great poet after great poet at an open mic is often enough to make me work extra hard on a poem, in the hope it can hold up next to everybody else’s!

 

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

 
I promote through my social media accounts (instagram, youtube, facebook) and a website. While I do find these useful (it’s great if you want to get people to your event or livestream, for example), I also find they have limited value on their own, and keeping them active can be to the detriment of my own focus. All that said though, you should definitely follow me.

 
I personally think the best promotion, especially locally, comes from not actually promoting, but from being present, being genuine and being aware. Talk to people at events, give people confidence and a platform where you can, tell that instapoet why you liked their poem, make sure you’re on the mailing list, apply to whatever you can and be nice to people. I personally find these help create more opportunities and add time to my own writing, because they fill my mind with ideas and remind me why I love doing it.

 

3, What projects are you working on at present?

 
Quite a few at the moment. My first book, The Prettyboys of Gangster Town, is due out later this year with Fly on the Wall Poetry, which I’m super excited about!

 
I’m also closely involved with two local groups, DIY Poets and World Jam. At DIY we run quarterly events, monthly writing support meetings, and produce what we believe is the longest running free poetry zine in the country, although we’d love to meet a group with a longer running one. At World Jam we try to facilitate global poetry and music through events and workshops, by getting people together from as many different backgrounds, native languages and styles as we can.

 
I was also going to start bringing some spoken word theatre shows to Nottingham, but unfortunately all that has gone on hold at the moment. I guess I find it hard to say no to poetry things!

4, What does poetry mean to you?

As horribly cliched as this sounds, it really does mean the world to me, because it’s good for me in so many ways. It’s friendship. It’s belonging to a community. it’s being part of something positive and being able to help open doors for others. it’s educational, teaching me a lot about how other people feel and process what comes their way. It’s a therapist with unlimited time to help me come to terms with any difficult times I face. It’s also made me much better at taking constructive criticism!

 
On a different angle, it’s also a marker of how good something can be. In a great poem, the words seem to dance on the page or paint great works on the walls of the venue. There’s nothing quite like that breathe out moment, when somebody’s poem gets right into the blood cells of everyone in the room, and the only tools you need for that are a pen and the back of an envelope. It’s magic.


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https://www.youtube.com/martingreypoet

 

 

My Thoughts on I Carried a Watermelon by Katy Brand

I Carried a Watermelon Katy Brand

Published by HQ

October 2019 

Kindle, Hardback, Paperback, Audio link 

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I bloody love Dirty Dancing. I think it’s an amazing film. I had a crush on both Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze as a teenager. Katy Brand writes in her book how the film has impacted her life and I didn’t expect much from this book, I just love connecting with other people’s love for something that I also love. Katy shares my name (obv.) and lived locally to me, so I connected with that. The cultural references, like VHS struggles, I identified with all of that. The essays that Katy writes on Dirty Dancing are fascinating, going into depth on the – for example abortion storyline in the film and so it was fun but serious too. It isn’t fluff. Not that there is anything wrong with fluff. It felt like a satisfying read, you know sometimes you get to the end of a book and you’re almost like oh is that … it? Like a roast dinner with no Yorkshire’s, it doesn’t feel right. I felt I Carried a Watermelon covered everything. I loved it. In fact, I think I may just pop a hardback copy into my basket now. Ooh Lord, and now I am being shown frequently brought with products. A shirt, Dirty Dancing DVD, a mug …


Thank you HQ for gifting me with an ARC copy of this book

 

was i attempting to write a review, summary, or poem? who knows

 

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Harry Potter makes the acquaintance of a house elf
which gets him into some bother
with his carers the Dursleys
when the house elf smashes a pudding
over the head of Vernon Dursley’s work colleague’s wife’s head


when not at Hogwarts, a school for young witches and wizards
locked in his room his best friend Ron
and his twin brothers come to his rescue
in a car that happens to be floating outside of his barred bedroom window
worried, they have arrived to take Harry to their home
the Burrow.


Not sure whether i was attempting to write a review, summary or poem for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ first few chapters, but it’s not very good. Far too many words beginning with w. Back to the drawing board.