Friday, 18 April 2014

P for Poetry

Poetry. All this month I have been studying various forms of poetry and the various components of rhyme. Metrical feet, iambic pentameter, dactyl, spondee, trochee and all the other weird words that are the jargon of poetics.

I am slowly beginning to understand some of it and know it will take some time and practice before it becomes quick and easy.

One of my favourite poems of childhood was by A A Milne titled

The King’s Breakfast

it is about a King who wishes to have butter for his bread, not, as a maid suggests, marmalade instead. ew. I always loved the way that little poem suggests the pleading and petulance of the king. The order goes out from the King's chamber all teh way down to the dairy maid and back for the little bit of butter for the king and he is so delighted when it finally arrives.

Poetry is a way of expressing ideas in musical and magial ways.

Picture books can be poems, song lyrics are poems, art can be poetic.A picture book written in rhyme is something that has to work just right if it is to become a beloved favourite. Picture book writers, unlike songwriters, have very little room for almost rhyme.  I hope my own picture books will 'sing' when they are finally out there being read to children. 

Blogging my book.  Well today I did not write, I read instead. The picture book experts say that in order to write a good picture book one must read five hundred of them. Novel writers need to read dozens of books in their chosen genre before they even begin writing one. 

I am reading a novel by one of my favourite authors Lois McMaster Bujold. I have already read seventeen novels by her but now I am exploring another of her worlds. 

I had a friend recently say he was worried that people would say he was stealing his ideas from his favourite authors and I said but they are your favourite authors for a reason, they are your mentors. All the famous painters learned by copying the famous artists of their era until they developed their own style. Writing is the same, copy your favourite writers until you develop your own style. Terry Pratchett is the king of copy paste and twist to make his own brand of word magic. Terry Pratchett is the author who finally helped me realise I was pretty well read if I could recognise the origin of many things he had made his own. There are so many wonderful and skilful writers out in print and the only way I will excel is to study the masters of the genres I like writing in. 

I started to add books I have read on my goodreads profile and I am beginning to see that I have read a very large number of books in my lifetime. This is a good starting point for my future success as a writer.  I am off to dive back into someone else's world for the sheer pleasure of it.  

Happy alphabet hopping