I like the idea of a slim diary one that fits into my bag easily. But when one starts looking round what a tempting array! A couple of years ago I couldn’t resist the Faber poets diary, wonderful poems by established poets on every other page.
Last year I was given a stunning diary with Japanese illustrations which was inspiring in a different way. Haikus were high on the agenda but the Mslexia Writers Diary takes a lot of beating, OK the mag and the diary are aimed at women but I know a couple of guys who buy them.
The diary always has an interesting theme as well as submission pages (which I confess I have never used!) inspirations, reading ideas, competitions, deadlines, pages for notes. Also, of course, there are the usual months, days and dates, for what one hopes to be doing when and where.
I’ve just found a stash of old diaries and had a quick flick through them, just in case I missed a gem of wisdom in 2008, or even an abandoned poem.in 2012! Fat chance!
I am not now convinced by all those poets/tutors who insist that after one has drafted a poem it should be stuck in a drawer for a few days, weeks, years, (or maybe forever?) The idea is that one comes back to it and does some magical editing!
I’m thinking of spending less time next year chasing rainbows, which means listening to/reading endless contrary advice and instead try to follow my heart and instincts. But I also might try to be just a bit more organised, enter the odd competition and even consider using that elusive submissions page!
Let’s draw daffodils
and talk about compassion
capture papery parcels
that hole the tightly packed
buds still green in their pods.
Let our pencils trace
the shapes of ambitious petals
intent on jumping the gun,
reaching out to the world
before their traditional season.
Let’s fill in the details
on their frilly faces
and add a few shadows,
for they had no say in the mater
like us simple here in this kitchen
at this particular time.
From ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’ is available from City Books Hove, the Open Art Cafe Rottingdean and online on Lulu.