black butterfly – how would you feel

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How would you feel

if you were in

my position:

I’d like to see how you handled it.

 

People called me out

already, I’ve only known you

a few months.

It’s not what I feel

that bothers me. It’s the fact

that I do feel for you

at all.

I guess this letter

is going to be bitter, because I can’t stand the fact

that you’re with her, when I know I could give you

so much more.

 

I can’t stand the fact

you’d rather be with someone else

than with me, who lives

right next door.

 

I’m bitter because it makes me think

we could have had

each other, we were almost there.

I’m bitter because you’re getting the fairy tale

and it isn’t with me.

 

I wonder why

I feel this way, when you give me so much pain.

You’re scared

You’re shy

You’re insecure and yet

I’m scared

I’m shy

and insecure.

 

Do you remember that time

across the dinner table, you looked

at me.

You held my gaze

for a second longer than necessary. I hold onto the smallest things.

You looked

gorgeous that night, too.

 

I cried over you

and I hate myself

for it.

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Great Reads: Poets

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I absolutely love reading poetry, and being a poet myself it would be silly not to love them. For me, poetry is as good as reading a short story, as whatever you’re doing, whether you’re snuggled in bed or on the tube to work, there is always time for a poem. Poems are bite sized chunks of emotions, with the ability to make you feel grounded at any time during the day. Below, I’ve listed some of the poets I think are great!

Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath is not only the most famous female poet on the planet, she’s also the most famous poet, period. Born in Boston, MA, she was diagnosed and sort treatment for depression, which inspired her to write her only novel The Bell Jar as well as many poems that were published in the eight anthologies she penned. Her most famous is Ariel that was published after her death by suicide. One of my absolute favourites from her collection is a poem titled Mrs Drake Proceeds to Supper, which you can find in her Selected Poems anthology, edited by her husband Ted Hughes.

Charles Bukowski

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Another poet that struggled with mental health, and alcohol addiction, was Charles Bukowski, who’s dirty realism of life in Los Angeles was captured perfectly in his poems and novels. In 1986, Time Magazine called Bukowski the “laureate of American lowlife”, which seems to perfectly resemble not only Bukowski’s outlook on life but also the tone in which he wrote. In 1962, the love of his life, Jane, died, which resulted in a lot of poetry as a way for Bukowski to cope with the bereavement. Like Plath, Bukowski also wrote an autobiographical novel about his life in the American Postal Service, aptly titled Post Office. One of my favourite poems that Bukowski wrote is a short and simple one titled Dark Night Poem. They say nothing is wasted / either that / or it all is.

ee cummings

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Another Massachusetts born poet is Edward Estlin Cummings, who was better known by his pen name ee cummings, and styled as such in most of his publications. Cummings is known for his unique style, abandoning any structure through favour of fluidity. He also wrote an autobiographical novel in 1922 titled The Enormous Room about his experience of being imprisoned in France during World War I. Throughout his life time, Cummings wrote approximately 3,000 poems most of which were chronicled in anthologies. One of my personal favourites from his collection comes from the selected poems of 1923-1958 anthology which begins “if there are any heavens…”

Carol Ann Duffy

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Moving onto one of the more contemporary poets on the list, we have the current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. I first was exposed to Duffy’s writing at school when studying for my GCSEs where I read and loved her poems on Anne Hathaway and Miss Havisham, but many years later I found a second-hand anthology called The Kingfisher Book of Poems about Love where I was blown away by her poem titled Words, Wide Night. Lets just say, there is a reason Duffy is the Laureate of Poetry.

Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl is the pioneer of children’s literature, having written seventeen books over his lifetime. He also wrote two poetry anthologies for children, one titled Revolting Rhymes, which gave a new spin on original fairy tales like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. The other anthology was called Dirty Beasts, and in true Dahl fashion, made us feel sick to our stomaches in a way only Roald Dahl could achieve.

So there we have it. Here is the top five list of poets I think really are worth reading. Are any of these poets in your favourites list? Or do you have a recommendation for me to get my teeth into? Let me know in the comments!

Preparing for #NaNoWriMo2016

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I never thought I would ever finish my book, let alone have written two before I turned 25. That’s a crazy achievement for me, and it’s all thanks to NaNoWriMo. Four years before I first participated, the thought of doing a month long writing sprint filled me with anxiety. But once I found ways to prepare and manage my idea, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. So here are a few tips and tricks to get you going.

  • Find an idea you’re happy with

Writing your novel won’t be enjoyable unless you genuinely like what you’re writing! If you’re stuck for ideas, or simply want some help to guide you through the writers block, see my blog post on writing a book here.

  • Make an outline

Some people are pants-ers, some people are planners. I am personally a planner, and I feel so much more relaxed when I have an outline of a scene in my head ready to be written. Sometimes I’ll even write the dialogue in script form, just so I can get it down on the page and then convert it to prose later on.

  • Make a schedule

This is coming from a certified planner! However, designating time in your day to sit down and write will help you achieve the 1,667 words you need to win. It could be an hour before you go to work, on your commute, during your lunch break, after work or even before bed. I always find I work better in the late afternoons/evenings, so I always make sure I’m sitting poised and ready to write by then.

  • Enter in your novel

On the NaNoWriMo website, you can start entering in your novel from early October. The sooner you do it, the more committed you will be to the project. You can even upload a book cover as well, so until November comes you can get creative and make something that fully represents the novel you intend to write.

  • Add your friends!

Something that kept me going during the first NaNoWriMo I did was seeing how my friends were progressing throughout the month. Whether it’s a healthy competition or just checking in and talking through ideas, having friends by your side always makes the experience more enjoyable.

Add me to your buddy list here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/clareholmanhobbs

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Either add me to the buddy list or let me know down in the comments what you intend on writing this year. Happy writing!

National Novel Writing Month begins on November 1st and continues until November 30th. Each participant aims to write 50,000 words in a month, which averages out at 1,667 words a day. You can find all the information on the project at the website: nanowrimo.org

blue butterfly – something old

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We were married once

in an old, broken down church, I wore white

with lace, we spent our vows trying

to convince each other why

we were perfect.

 

I wore white, the colour of the grave

of my father, who could never walk me down the aisle

so I walked myself on his bones

as we tried

but we were in an old, broken down church

and we were married once.

blue butterfly – my words are worth

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I can only plagiarise the prophets

I see in the dark.

Dig up their bones and replace them

With my own.

Gaining no comfort in my eternal search

For what masquerades as cheap clichés.

 

I find: complete

Stripped back,

and choose the same deck of spades,

dragging my fingers through the tar

and decorate caves with Queens.

Parchment curls at my edges,

in the virginal white sheets that mask it’s sins.

My quill is loaded.

blue butterfly – the wallflower

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She wrote love letters to the monsters under the bed

Made of papier-mâché barricades

And arranging bear bones into swords.

 

She was alive alive alive and they were dead.

Some inside the trinket box in the shape of an elephant

And the rest in the waste basket case, alone

 

She was always alone, picking roses from next door

And pressing them between pages of hardback books

Snapping the stalk in half and watching the sap ooze

Onto the words and smudging them, watching the ink run.

blue butterfly – the words

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I keep the photograph that I took

of your house, nestled between

the pages of my favourite book, solace in solace.

 

Stuck to the back

are the four photo booth pictures we took at the mall

in Henrietta, the day we went for a walk

and ate so much ice cream we felt sick.

Walking the spines of books in Barnes and Noble with sticky fingers,

hand in hand.

 

The book was the same as always,

my father’s copy of The Blackbird that he left in his top coat pocket,

hanging on the back of the hospital chair the night he died.

It still smells of the stale waiting rooms and

has 20p instant coffee rings embedded on the front cover.

Of course, you know that already.

It sat on your bedside table for three months.

 

Before I start reading, I pick up the photograph

of your house, admiring the royal blue front door

and Pip lying across the doorstep.

 

I look at each window in turn, remembering

each event that took place in them, each one I crave

on different nights, depending on how much I miss you.

 

The living room. No longer the ‘lounge’

as you crinkled your nose when I called it that.

The living room, where we lay together

on the sofa, your arms around my waist

as I slept on your chest, pretending to watch The Words,

when really it was just something

to stop the sad silence and feeling of going.

 

The bedroom.

Your bedroom that renamed itself ours,

at least in my mind. I fell asleep hours before you did,

as you sat awake feeding your affair

with words and whiskey, tap, tap, tapping away

into the night. Living with you was like living in a dream

world, as you crawled into bed at 4am and whispered your poetry

against my skin. I could hardly believe you were real.