Sunday, 21 July 2013

#wpad July challenge - Second hand or new

Second hand or new

Not sure to what this relates.  If it's books then I buy both new and second hand.  I trawl charity shops for titles I'm after (if I cannot first find them in them library).  If I can't find what I want I look at Amazon and often buy used.  I will purposely wait for new books I want to be released in paperback, though sometimes I might have a title on my Christmas or birthday list which will be in hardback if I can't wait!

I love going around independent book shops, though they seem few and far between now.  They often stock books you don't find in chain store bookshops.  I'm always on the lookout for something different.

Last week, to kill time before a choir rehearsal, I visited the Oxfam bookshop and sought out the poetry section.  I picked up The Ice Age by Paul Farley for £2.49.  I think this is his second collection.  I am really enjoying his poems and took his book with me on the train on Friday and wondered how many people read poetry on a train.  Perhaps there should be spontaneous poetry reading 'flash mobs' on trains to promote the act of poetry reading!

Finally, the prompt for second hand or new gave me another idea.  In writing we are always searching for an original idea, a new angle, but on the whole we are recycling words and situations.  There is even an exercise in poetry called found poetry or cut-up poetry.  What you do is look for an article or any other writing source and cut up or highlight words and phrases (or even write them out) at random from the source and use these to form a poem.  You can use them in the order found, in another order or use them as a tool and edit them into a complete poem.  This is a fun exercise to try and can result in some interesting results.
I had a go at this when I took an online course with The Poetry School.  We all compared our writing (which we did not edit except to use the lines in an order that might make some sense).  It caused a lot of laughs as some of the poetry was very strange and off the wall.  Here is a verse from my 'found poem' (lines taken from several different sources).  I called it Surreal Images:

Unfortunate Fr Grandier was the chaplain
the year after my father looked back.
People had speculated on where we,
not used to keeping the house tidy,

sparked a global economic downturn.

Looking at the whole poem there are parts that could be taken out and formed into several poems.  These exercises are great for generating new poems.  There is an article in the latest  New Writer  on this particular exercise. Why not have a go yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment