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spectrums of other senses

September 2, 2011

A while ago I stumbled across Stevie Smith’s examination of colour in her poetry, and found it to fit the strangely totemic role that colour often plays when I write. Well that was a while ago and I haven’t been writing a ton recently. When I first went back to my parents, deep in the wild wild country I wrote furiously. I wrote about toads and I wrote about leaving and the shock of the new that was also the shock of the old. But then the complete lack of any real activity halted me, as did bureaucratic stuff for going onto the next degree, as well as studying for the GRE (which I take in a month or so).

But none of this is interesting, I know. What is interesting is that yesterday I read these killer new poems by Dorothea Lasky up at BOMBLOG. It’s strange how the concept of colour as entity invariably gets bound up with fairy tale like narratives. Is this didactic? Is the idea of morals at a young so attached to the monochrome binary of black / white that any colour is imbued with some kind of moral quality? Or at least some almost universal meaning. Or I should just read some colour theory.

The visual elements of poems are easily recognised, but what is considered less often is the smell of poems. The Scottish Poetry Library is running an event on September 15th called Poetry & Perfume, a discussion between scent technician Ericka Duffy and poets Elspeth Murray and J L Williams, which sounds amazing. Wish I was still in Scotland for that one. But it gets you thinking about the smell of what you write?

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