Good evening (I think 6 pm counts as evening in the winter, doesn’t it?).
As I wrote earlier in the week, on Wednesday I officially started my MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. It was an interesting day, workshops and seminars weren’t really a part of my first degree, that I remember anyway. This degree is entirely taught using them. The morning workshop started late because the tutor had train trouble although that did allow the group time to get to know each other. We did a few writing exercises; I thought I’d share the results of one of them.
The exercise was called ‘First lines’. I chose the first line of a random poem in one of the books Sarah (the tutor) had brought with her. I have no idea what the book was called or who it was by. The original first line is in italics.
One morning you will wake and find I am gone. You will forget me. The detritus of my life with you will slowly move out of sight, out of the house, out of your life. And when even the scrap of paper, an old list: milk, eggs, bread, hidden beneath your son’s pictures, pinned forgotten to the fridge, has finally been thrown away, I will be gone.
Will you miss me? Even for a little while? Will you sigh with relief? Or sad remembrance?
I will be gone and there will be no coming back.
I am not afraid. It is not I who must continue alone. When one morning you wake and I am gone.
The door will rattle on the latch, left unlocked where I have departed, my bag packed for the road. Maybe I’ll come back this way, eventually, but don’t hold out hope of that. Just carry on Don’t look down the road for me, don’t expect a message. I’m not here any more. I have gone.
The road is open and it calls me every day. I ignore it, all for you. I will be content with a ramble through the fields for only so long. My feet itch for muddy paths beneath summer trees and tent covered nights. My shoulders long for the weight of my rucksack.
But not today. Today I’ll come home to you, eat, laugh with you.
But one day, you’ll wake and I’ll be gone.
In the afternoon I had a seminar about poetry with Sam North. I’ve reviewed one of his books, Marikka. He used a pseudonym of Sam Hawksmoor when he wrote that. I think he writes all his books under that name. Our homework was to write a poem about something that matters to us. While we were discussing things in the seminar Sam asked us all what made us angry, so of course I said scientific illiteracy. Thus the following poem:
Humans are stupid.
Seven thousand million of us, or more by now I suppose,
Each a unique, fine, sentient soul, so full of potential
In a world where we grasp handfuls of knowledge to be devoured.
Trump is considered a viable candidate for P.O.N.T.U.S
Climate change is disavowed by those without the will to act,
People die of starvation while others throw out nobbly carrots,
Others, pushed in to the sea by war, are pushed back to the wars by the sea,
And fucking anti-vaxxers exist!
Not my finest work, I’ll admit, but I tried.
It’s taken me a bit of time to recover from this first day at uni. physically I’m exhausted, mostly because I didn’t sleep well Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and went to Leeds yesterday. I ache a bit, especially my arms and shoulders, and I keep getting cramp in my legs. Mentally, I was a bit wobbly Thursday and Friday, but I seem to be fine today. That might be the afternoon nap though 😀 I think I definitely need to monitor my physical and mental reactions to studying. I’m doing this to help my recovery, I don’t want to make things worse.