Self, Seasons or Turkeys

What should you write about? A temptation is to share how you feel about something, or someone, that dramatically impinged on your being. Do not do this. By all means, use your experience of life to inform your work. More sophisticated viewpoints would include putting yourself in the mind of another character: famous, historical or mythological. Even in the “mind” of an inanimate object, taking its point of view. So what would the cheese-grater say, given pen and paper?

Omniscient narrator viewpoint allows you to float around, like an invisible drone, eulogising about sunsets, moorland dawns or what goes on behind closed curtains. You could also write about your response to a work of art (Ekphrasis). For example, your response to the first time hearing the musical work “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” (by Delius). However, if you do write about the natural world directly you will be in the company of many, many other poets, you could be soaring like an eagle or be down with a lot of other turkeys.

I admit that I’ve not always followed this advice myself. Some of my best work was strongly informed by personal experience – with the narrator’s point of view firmly lodged in my head. But these works have been driven by a mood that was numinous – like those dreams that haunt you throughout the day. Such are these moments that if you capture them well they will resonate in the minds of others.

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