Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Free Writing Idea

I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me, and my enquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self-expression. Dylan Thomas

I'm biased of course, being welsh too, but I love the poetic construction of this sentence as much as the theatre of it: and my enquiry is... and my problem us... and my effort is...

We all write for reasons but often don't take the time to articulate them. Free write for 10 minutes, starting with the phrase:

My enquiry is...

7 comments:

charlotte segaller said...

This wasn't really from the free writing prompt, but just because I saw this on the news about Dylan Thomas:

The house of Dylan Thomas has been restored, just as it was when he was born. Visitors can pay to stay a night in his small single bed, alone. Of course it is his poetry which really outlives his years on earth. My enquiry is: do we set out our words because we can’t take them with us when we go, or are we writing for our lives, or both?

Lynne Rees said...

Hello, Charlotte. I think I 'set out my words' because I'm trying to make sense of something through the process. Maybe by the time the poem/piece of prose is presented to the public then some sense has been made, some insight granted to me, and I can move on. Although there are some poems that remain enigmas to me. But maybe we can't make sense of everything.

I'd say I'm writing 'out' of my life rather than for it. And I hope that there are people who'll be interested enough to share those responses/insights.

Once, when I was running my bookshop, I was speaking to a customer about trying to find the answers to things, and he said that maybe the questions were more important, which reminds me of the following by Rilke:

...don't search for the answers... because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer...

Stephen Fryer said...

My poem is called
Modern Life

hello?
hello, yes, I have an enquiry.
yes.

oh!
start, yes.
my enquiry is …

hello?
no.
no I do not want to give my name.

anyway.
my enquiry is …

hello?
hello?

Martin Cordrey said...

My enquiry is whether or not poetry is mankind’s greatest invention? Animals communicate to find food, shelter, and safety. As mankinds population grew it needed more sophisticated ways of communication and handing down these communications. Yet poetry at its best is like communicating from soul to soul; as if the Angels had learned to smile through a nightingale, cry silently through a single swan, or just breath like a sunset – or is it just me!

charlotte segaller said...

Thanks, Lynne. Those are really interesting thoughts and experiences for me to ponder on. I like the idea that some poems may remain an enigma to the writer - like they have a life of their own and can take on whatever meanings people find in them. That's sort of magical.

charlotte segaller said...

My real line of enquiry now:

When I first picked up a poetry book, a wheel turned in my heart, opening up a space where a bird was trying to sing. My enquiry is: will I let her?

Lynne Rees said...

Thanks Charlotte, Stephen and Martin for responding to this thread. It's good to have an exchange of ideas on the site too, not just the posting of poems - some space where writers can 'talk' not just write.