Thursday, 25 November 2010

Which "box" does a poem fit into? Ethics & Moral issues

Which "box" does a poem or lyric fit into?
Afer completing the editing of the next two anthologies of  Blues poems lyrics, I realised that some are in fact already in the Kindle books on Love; the reason being they were more romantic and lyrical compared to the other pieces in the Blues collections, hence a better fit to the love selection (don't worry I'm checking to avoid duplicating pieces in the collections - no poem lyric will appear in more than one collection).

In the upcoming collection Blues Hung Up to Dry we have "Lady Luck" really a sort of Torch song, but with a Blues feel aspect so it fits with the other Blues pieces. The Blues is after all broad Church, there's room for all aspects and styles.

Love poems lyrics collections now out for reviews to place later on Amazon Kindle. Also reviews calls for the Blues anthologies: Blues hung Up to Dry and Brand New Highway Stretching On.

Patterns of anthology themes so far: Love, Blues, next?...Faith, general.
working title of the faith/general one: That Brightening Glow

Moral issues.
I usually sift out from anthologies all poems lyrics falling into the categories of: -

Funny but too vicious or cruel, Pieces where any person can be identified as the poems subject (safeguard against libel actions), Too sexual, graphic. Violent. Anti faith, religion. Too crude, coarse language. Bad taste. Strong language. Open to negative misinterpetation. Too much bitterness, "Rant" Bleakness. Too little content (no point made, too brief) Poetically lyrically weak - not to standard. Vague or confused - where is the message/point?

This follows my ethos of not giving offence gratuitously, you can make your points, say what you want without using the above listing. It's also inline with my Christian Faith.

Someone once said really bad language was OK to include since "you hear it everyday on the bus" however most people don't like to hear it - "keeping it real" is one thing but why erect a barrier to your work being read/heard?

What is the aim? (what does he include?), these:

Things to raise the spirit, human condition: Love, care of others, nature, beauty, critique of modern modes & thinking, music, humour, faith, ridicule, satire, anger (to some degree). 

Other poets lyricists of course are not bound by these rules, but looking over my work to date they seem to be the ones I apply.

Friday, 12 November 2010

New Blues lyrics/ Poems collections: coming on Kindle

Promotion actions. Following the release on Amazon Kindle of my Love poem lyrics collections:
Sharing a Small Soft Star and The Secrets Summer keeps; I'm looking for ways to further PR, promote these, raising my profile etc. So I will send some copies out for to review by others. After printed copies srating in 2001, I'm now focussing on a digital - Kindle route- using social media to promote more widely. Blues going dot com- (Jimmy Smith - master of the Hammond Organ - made an album dot com blues)  

Blues poems lyrics anthologies.
This week I did the first drafts of the next two collections: Brand New Highway Stretching on and Blues Hung Up To Dry; both will be ready to release on Amazon Kindle sometime in the next two weeks.

These volumes contain most of the the poems written and posted on the Ernie Ball Musicman forums site - a few of them, about six,  found their way into the love poem collections. The Blues can be happy also! The tears of happiness and emotion; at gaining something longed for, the lucky break etc..

I've been aware of all the past old time blues themes and lyrics. Blues readers expect to come across these conventions; which are part of the essential Blues identity, but I've included new references to modern times and issues, written in my own "voice" as poet/lyricist.

The "eternal universals" of the human condition are still there: faith, religion, love, aspirations, lack, love, joy, sorrow, problems, frustrations, anger, hope etc. You can always get a fresh view and lines on these things: based on your own life and also what you hear, see around you.

The "killer line" is all; stirring the reader/listener into a "what!" reaction or silence. You find these in the works of Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan - not literal sense perhaps but profoundly touching and feeling completely right.

History is never exactly repeated. Because society/technology, the economy, environment etc; so the blues written now reflects the now. We have one foot on the river bank of history/Classics in the Blues; the other is in the river - flowing and now - creating and moving onwards.

From a philosopy viewpoint we stand on the column of our fore-fathers; acknowledging our existence literally as people and blues artists to those gone before us.  

Work to do... The essential but slightly numbing usual process of sifting to select the best out of all the pieces, then formatting, making a cover with picture etc. Some poems lyrics I have had to re-type again out of the printed books I produced in 2001- 2009, because they were not on the PC.

When is poem a song lyric? (and vice-versa) It can be difficult to know. For songs: I find a times a song of sorts is in my head and in general lyrics are more "rhymey", less complicated in the lines. Verse and chorus is also an aspect, as are repeating lines. Does it matter as long as the end result is worth the reading, engaging the readers feelings and emotions, stirring thoughts, or a point is made/idea or view shared?

Enough for now.. more later


Monday, 1 November 2010

Love Poems on Kindle: Apart, I Found an Old Letter

My books on Kindle are now “live” i.e. for purchase. A bit tricky but I managed to include at least one taster poem in each sample that Amazon Kindle will send out to would be buyers.

These are:-

From “The Secrets Summer Keeps”:


I fear the thing not yet actual, the vague awareness;

Merely this shadow on the wall,

Of the crouching beast coiled

Soon to spring, with claws.

Nothing wrong. "There" is fine with you,

Words remote over the phone.

But words give no comfort, distance ensures absence, insulates Soothement of fears...

I liked the made-up word “soothement” invented yet it seemed right to convey the idea (like ointment, “soothement” is what others give to make us feel better!).

From ”Sharing a Soft small Star”:

I Found an Old Letter

I found an old letter that I had from you before

Praising love as a healer

Found inside someone

When they accept another through their door.

And though some lines had faded it continued

This is what the letter said

You are such a lovely person

I'll keep this thought for you, even if apart or dead.

 I look out of my window, love and kisses were at the end.

When you left my world was hurled

From the warmth of certainties we knew.

I'm reminded watching the news alone,

We could sure use some healing in our world.

This is a new poem. Are the lovers still alive but separated, or is it memory of the surviving partner, the other now passed on? Sometimes the strength of the lines lie in the looseness/ambiguity.

Mingled in with the lines are ordinary observations: looking out of the window, watching the TV news; a reminder that after the event – loss of love/a person- the daily flow of events continues, as a backdrop to our feelings.

More coming...

What now? Well I have my general poems to edit into collections plus one that may be almost entirely Blues / Song Lyrics - I'll see how things go.  The overall plan is to select the best poems and lyrics from the period 2001 to 2009, some of which currently exist only in printed form; adding new lyrics/poems from 2010, then release on Kindle.

I may do a limited run of printed copies, but these are likely to be very small in mnumber (6- 10  collection say) and mainly for family, immediate friends.