My first blog post

Hi there and welcome to my new blog. I started writing poetry at the end of last year and since then I’ve written at least 30 poems that I’m proud of. The beginning of my poetry journey marked the end of over 10 years of struggling to find a genre and voice. I’m an avid reader and have also always enjoyed writing. In the past I have written short stories, plus one long one and several half stories (if I’m being generous) that never really took off. I definitely haven’t had the discipline for years to finish a novel. I have had ideas, they just keep drying up. I have had various good writing spells where I’ve been working on something but they haven’t come to anything, so if I’m being brutal I had a ten year long bout of writers block. I was lost. I needed a voice. Sometimes I thought, Can I actually write? Maybe I shouldn’t bother.

But there was something inside me that wouldn’t quite give up the idea of writing. There have been various signs. One of these signs was the headteacher of my previous school doing an assembly about having talent and not wasting it. I never let on to anyone but that awakened a voice inside me. Then there was the author visiting a school at which I taught. It was about a year later and it got me thinking a bit more and fired up to write. But I still couldn’t find my “voice”
It was perhaps another 18 months later that things became a little clearer.

It was my son, Kyle’s fourth birthday and I chose this occasion to share a poem I had written shortly after he was born. The poem was about my experiences of having a baby. I’d read a poem by my friend Holly’s dad and I liked the style of his verse. I fancied having a go at something similar myself and so that is what I did. It was a long time ago but I remember it came quite easily. I had written poetry at school but hadn’t attempted it as an adult, unless you count the little riddles I wrote on Dan’s presents in Christmas 2005. I was happy with my efforts but I only showed Dan. I guess I was planning to share it on Kyle’s first birthday but it never happened. But as I said, when Kyle turned four I decided it was time to share the poem, so I did so on a Facebook post. I got some really good feedback and this encouraged me to the point that I started writing more poems.

I would compose them in my head while doing chores or on the nursery run, or even feeding Sam, my youngest. Whenever my brain was idle, basically. Then I would jot them down on my phone in pages. I have posted a few on Facebook, and a few on poetry sites on the internet. I will tell you more about those another time but suffice to say, I started writing more and more and I found the words flowed easily and I was pleased with the outcomes.

I use rhyme in all of my poems as it just feels right and I have explored different rhyming patterns, including the sonnet, which is hard as the structure is so tight. I find that I can write poems for specific occasions, such as fathers day, and I like to include personal detail for the recipient. I’m quite personal in my poetry anyway as I get inspiration from those close to me and strong emotions. I have written a lot of poems about my youngest, Sam, simply because he is changing so much every day and he’s a completely different kettle of fish to my eldest when he was a baby.

I think one of my goals as a poet is to write in a more general sense without so much personal detail. I like using my family as inspiration but I think leaving personal stuff out, like names and detail could help more people relate to my poetry. I do like my personal stuff and I don’t want to give it up completely, I just don’t want all my poems to be personal, if that makes sense. I also quite fancy writing poems for greeting cards. For the boys’ father’s day cards I wrote both their poems myself, plus a poem from my perspective to my husband about what a wonderful father he is. A less personal style is required for greeting cards, (unless I want to get into writing poems for other people’s loved ones on their behalf) but I know my style in terms of rhyming patterns does fit. We will just have to see.

So that is me, if you are still reading and I hope to be able to share my journey with you from now on.

I want to finish with a poem about my poetry that I wrote not long after I started writing poems.

My poems start with a rush of emotion.
I quickly drink it in like a potion.
I throw some words around in my head
While on the nursery run or lying in bed.
For this feeling I have been waiting so long,
For all those years I was getting it wrong.
For all this time I’ve been writing fruitless prose,
And nothing seemed to come to a close.
What I’d forgotten was that when I was at school
Some of my poems were actually quite cool.
Then one day soon after I had my first son,
I read a friend’s father”s poem and thought  “I could write one!”
And in a few days the poem was written,
But still by the bug I had not yet been bitten.
That poem didn’t see the light of day
Until my son’s fourth birthday.
Encouraged by comments I decided to write more,
And at last this genre I started to explore.
And now it seems I have found a new voice.
And finally I have made the right choice
I am not an author I am a poet
And now at last I can finally show it.

Jen Elvy

There you go, I hope you enjoyed it. I loved writing this as it seemed to write itself, as it flowed so quickly. I have recently changed the final line. It originally read “And now at last I finally know it” but I found it quite cliched, maybe too much so, so I changed it to “I can finally show it.”

Thanks for reading

Jen xx

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