Just back from a lovely family holiday in Benidorm, Spain. Have you been there? Its fab! It’s got this amazing home away from home quality. We went when our eldest was a baby but this time we were a family of four. Going back with two children to revisit old memories and make some more was brilliant and I was quite emotional at times as it all seemed so surreal. Coincidentally we stayed at the same hotel as last time. It is now under new management and it’s had a refurb and we agreed it has changed for the better.
I could do a whole new blog post about the holiday but my post today will focus on the holiday from a writer’s point of view. I have suffered from writers block in the past but being on holiday in a new environment, surrounded by palm trees, sandy beaches and the like, never fails to inspire me. It’s hard to explain but it inspries me even if I can’t quite put it into words. The new thing this time was that I am writing poetry on a kind of regular basis so I had a way I know I could put my inspiration across.
One problem though, description isn’t exactly my forte so place poems pose a bit of a problem. But I’m encouraged by the fact that I can try and always edit and improve later. With this first poem, I feel I am just getting started with writing about Benidorm. I fell in love with the place even more the second time around and with this poem I feel like I was just scratching the surface. I was pleased wiht the outcome and that I managed to write a poem about a place I loved.
I will first share the poem and then tell you how it came together.
How nice it is to be back in Benidorm
Where the beaches are sandy and the weather is warm
The sun always shines and the palm trees
Gently dance in the summer breeze
The high rise blocks stand tall and proud
The sky is clear, there’s no sign of a cloud
Through the streets we love to explore
Bars and pubs and shops and more
And at the end of the day, with aching feet
It’s great to be back in our hotel suite
Looking over the balcony at the amazing view
Waiting for tomorrow and adventures new
More often than not, I start my poems with the first line and work my way down to the close. This time it was a bit different. The last few lines actually came to me first. To begin with I had the word treat to rhyme with suite but when we had a particularly long walk one evening, I changed it to aching feet. I love exploring new places and having an evening walk to work off holiday food sins, so believe me it was a satisfying ache. It was, however, very satisfying to sit down and relax afterwards. From being back at the hotel suite, it felt natural to lead on to talking about the view from the balcony, which was breathtaking. Then from view, I got new adventures, or “adventures new” to close the poem. It seemed a fitting close point to talk about being back at base at the end of the day, looking out over the city, anticipating the next day’s adventures.
So I had the end, now to work out how to start. I came up with the first few lines during a walk back from a sea life park, Mundomar, in the blazing heat. I love composing poems in my head whilst walking along. It seems less pressure than writing them straight down on paper or on the screen. I can juggle words around in my head as much as I want, in a relaxed state of mind. My editing head is on but my critique head is not in action. On the walk I got as far as the line “The sky is clear, there’s no sign of a cloud” I’m sure Benidorm has it’s overcast days but at the time of composition, there was a lovely clear blue sky. It was now a case of connecting the first lines with the closing section I’d already composed. I could have written so much more but in the end I only needed a couple of lines that covered the exploration aspect before going on to the closing two couplets. I am pleased with the outcome and it shows that you can start a poem at any point. Just because you have the first couple of lines, does that mean that it has to be the opening of your poem? Not necessarily. In the case of this poem, the closing lines that I composed first were always going to be closing lines and it happened that the poem came to me in this order. With other poems, this might not be so clear cut but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play around with the poem a bit, adding lines at the start or in the middle, or changing the order of the lines. Maybe this is something I can look into in future poems.
As I said, I could write so much more about Benidorm but I hope you enjoyed my first attempt to capture the city in poetry.
Thank you for reading,