katewritesandreads

katewritesandreads

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Language and lonely-hearts



A few years ago when I started writing again, after the long gap since adolescent poetry, I went to a class taught by the much-missed Gabrielle Green. In the Oscar drum roll of my writing life she’s the one without whom etc etc. One of the exercises she gave us was to use the language of one subject to write in another. So, for example, you might use gardening words to write a poem about your grandfather. I had a think about this during the week after the class and my eye fell on a catalogue I’d received from ‘the home of creative kitchenware’ and I used words from that to write a lonely-hearts poem. Awww. I’ve read this poem at various gatherings and it usually gets a bit of a laugh so I’ve reproduced it at the end of this post for the three people I know who haven’t heard it. (I’m not actually looking by the way. One is quite enough.)
I’ve always wanted to use that exercise to write something else and felt inspired after reading a beauty article in a magazine to write a romantic story. I think it was the words ‘brown sugar scrub’ that did it. The resulting story Booty and The Beast has, I am thrilled to say, just won first prize in the CwrtnewyddScribblers short story competition and will be published soon in paperback and on Kindle. Many thanks to Rachael Thomas for passing on the good news – and for telling me how to pronounce their name: Court new ith.


Choosing a Man from the Lakeland Catalogue

I’m looking for a man
who’s
stainless,
odourless,
flexible
and waterproof,
who won’t
evaporate away.
Who’s
highly concentrated,
durable,
efficient –
with deep
compartments,
assembled
in five minutes.

I want a man
in attractive
material,
who makes
my heart beat
like a push-button stopper
like a mini pressure cooker,
a cleverly
expanding man
with a lifetime
guarantee …

but, most of all,
I’d love
a man
who
easily
folds
away
when
not
in
use.



11 comments:

  1. Hi Kate, what lovely news and I read the poem again. It's a gem, too. Anne Stenhouse

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  2. Great news, Kate - unfortunately, the link to the Scribblers isn't working. What a brilliant poem - and an excellent idea!

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  3. First, congrats. Second, I'd never heard the idea of language transfer before and it sounds an excellent exercise. The poem's a gem.

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  4. I hadn't read that poem, Kate ...and it did make me laugh! Well done on the success.

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  5. Kate I hadn't heard the poem - and I love it! What a talent you are - and well done on the prize!

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  6. Congratulations, Kate. Fascinating tirle, Booty and the Beast.

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  7. I had not heard the poem Kate and I think it's very cleverly "assembled". I hope you got the right model of man.
    Seriously, well done on winning the competition. You're on a high this year.

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  8. Well done Kate. It was great to be able to pass on the good news.

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  9. Maybe Lakeland will start selling 'man kits'? Brilliant poem, Kate. Many congrats on your success.

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  10. So glad to see Lakeland man up here - loved it when I heard you read it at the Spring Fair and great to see it again. And well done on the competition - great news.

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  11. Thanks all for taking the time to read and comment.

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