Archive for February 18, 2018

The Kiln (creating poetry)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2018 by antonyowen

pexels-photo-54216.jpegSomething I have learnt about writing poetry is that it’s like a potter’s wheel. I think first of all it begins with an inner compass of where we want to go with the writing and some of us choose to leave in light and arrive in darkness and vice versa. So, for me I arrive in the darkness hauling that clay where within lays the words to shape into a poem. When I write about conflict it takes control because my hands are not still and they have to be, still. Anger, emotion and passion need to be unbridled if I am to sculpture the vast landscape of narrative and metaphor. Just like the intricate patterns painted on bone china this is only possible if the foundations, that clay and control was chosen well. So, I spin then, feeling the grain and mulch of cold clay becoming hardy against the heat of my hands and it is now an extension of me, skin, bine, flesh and pulse. Sometimes I finish in one sitting, other times there are moments of genius but it does not work as a construct so I take the artisan approach and make a cup from a jug but it can still hold a vast body if I concentrate the essence well enough.

At the point of completion, the ink of silica is my war paint, my trophy that is too fragile for my name and how I define myself in this world (or strive to). At this point we ‘create’ the poem by reading it to see if it works. Is it structured? Are there any flaws? If so are those flaws part of what gives it soul. If it is functional and precision engineered but it is like every other exhibit then what is the point of it? These pieces of clay are to hold vast depths and are not arbitrary and soulless works that cannot contain anything other than empty meanings or decorative flashes that amount to nothing other than to startle other clay workers. So back to the kiln, this is the heart of a poet, the flames hiss and lathe and at the point of inspecting the finished product it has to looked over again and it might stand by morning or it might not.  Some of the sculpturers are working together with each other or other artists and they are discussing the order of the display. Other sculpturers just love the enjoyment of it and are very gracious to other workers. Some workers are covered in clay but cannot produce anything but in time those tears will shape the clay and produce something they will be proud of. Some boast about their work and some throw clay at each other when each other’s backs are turned but the kiln will always roar and the most important thing are the sculptures that move people, that inspire them to create and produce their own original works. At this point we have to ask ourselves who makes the potters wheel that makes the foundations of what we choose to write about? Well, this is the earth spinning and all that happens on it are all things that we can catch and recreate. The words are a smithery of possibilities that can change the way others see the world. Poets are nomads of the inner and other worldly. We excavate the DNA of words to show our body of work and the soul of what makes us mortal.

We should celebrate this. Poetry is life, is clay.

To the wheel then.