I’m not sure what I’m doing yet but I’m feeling drawn towards Greek Mythology. Sorry this is late and pretty brief, been really busy and I need to do a bit of research before I know more!
Moment captured London South Bank 01/05/2016 by Peter
Eastern European street performers doing what they love
Admire those whom have realised life is for living, that have fire and passion, that dare step out of the box, creating their own flowing in and out of it as they please, the masters of their own realities.
signs and symbols. horoscopes and who I am. what I might be. something rebellious. not sure if I even want to do this. but giving myself the option. sorry it’s late. its been an uncomfortable weekend.
Great to work with some of you on Friday. We ran out of time at the end so I just wanted to elaborate a bit on the final task so you can do it in your own time – and for those of you who weren’t there.
[also a reminder that as associate artist I have some hours to offer you which can be used in various ways – feedback on poems, general writing/performance conversations…feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org. ]
I’m working with you again on 13th May so if you have a chance to try the task, bring your poems then.
- Personal mythologies. – gather words
Make a map of your personal mythologies, put your name in the centre of a page and work out from there, so you might think about words or phrases that are important to you, objects that you wear or keep, colours, strange things you believe, superstitions, sayings passed down by your family etc…
– this is easier to do with pen and paper as then you can make a map, but here’s an example (bearing in mind my associations are personal and therefore may not make much sense to you!). [Example, I associate ‘palindromes’ with my name and myself… because my name is a palindrome…]
Hannah --------- storm when arrive somewhere new H -------- palindromes H --------- a recorder for a backbone H----- four leaf clover H ----- amber H ------ iris
Then from those words you do a word association which could be through sound/meaning etc, but don’t worry about the personal mythology thing at this stage…[I associate storms with lightning, thunder, counting, etc etc]
Storms ----- lightning storms ---- thunder storms ---- counting storms ---- open window storms --- train door closing storms ---- torn four leaf clover ---- Ireland four leaf clover ----- Suffolk
and you can do this again, using all these words [I associate Suffolk from the previous list with Aldeburgh, and I associate Aldeburgh with beach …]
lightning ----- bolt lightning ---- lighting lightning ---- caravan Suffolk – Aldeburgh Aldeburgh – beach
You keep doing this until you’ve got masses of words and phrases… I’ve already got a lot:
storm when arrive somewhere new, palindromes, a recorder for a backbone, four leaf clover, amber, iris, lightning, thunder, counting, open window, train door closing, torn, Ireland, Suffolk, bolt, lighting, caravan, Aldeburgh, beach
- Write using those words and phrases
Then you write a poem using those words and phrases (you might use some of them or all of them, you might made adjustments etc – rules are there to be broken)…
e.g: (I’m doing this quickly, it’s a free write/1st draft)
I was born with a recorder for a backbone, into a storm that swallowed sound and spat it out again like a palindrome. When I was eight I found a four leaf clover and knew I would be lucky forever, dried it between the pages of Alice in Wonderland, it sits at the bottom right hand corner of a photo of a baby with huge green eyes on her mother’s shoulder. When I was ten I walked the stones of Aldeburgh Beach, found a golden one and took it to man with long blue hair and bronze fingernails who told me the sea had left the amber there for me. When I was twelve I painted irises in watercolour, when I was fifteen I followed a giant bird through my open window, out onto a field, I spun and spun and screamed at the moon and counted the distance between me and a storm. Just the other day, I got on a train, and the thunder cracked as the train door closed and I knew my body had finally learnt how to play the instrument that it grips in place of a spine.
- Find a myth/folk tale etc
So it may be that the poem above could work as it is, with edits etc. But another exercise is to splice it together with something else. You might like to choose something that you feel a connection to, but it could be anything.
I’m choosing a few extracts from An Illustrated Dictionary of The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya (by Miller and Taube):
‘In central Mexico, the preeminent god of death was Mictlantecuhtli, or lord of Mictlan, the Underworld. He is usually depicted as a skeleton wearing vestments of paper, a common offering to the dead.’
‘Flowers were viewed as sacrificial offerings, and according to some stories, Quetzalcoatl led his people to offer flowers and butterflies in lieu of human flesh’
‘it easily yields sparks, and the rock itself smells of smoke after use. It is a fine-granular quartz which abounds in the Maya lowlands. As the primary means of striking fire, flint was of inestimable use to humankind and was thus personified and deified; it was also the symbol of human sacrifice.... Among the Aztecs, flint blades are also personified, frequently with an open gnawing mouth, indicating their ability to tear flesh’
4.Splice the two together…. – You can keep the two poems as they are and just cut them together if that works, e.g
I was born with a recorder for a backbone, ‘In central Mexico, the preeminent god of death was Mictlantecuhtli’ into a storm that swallowed sound and spat it out again like a palindrome. The lord of Mictlan, the Underworld is depicted as a skeleton wearing vestments of paper. When I was eight I found a four leaf clover…..
or you might like to play a bit more, e.g:
I was born with a blockflute for a backbone, into a storm that swallowed sound and spat it out again like a palindrome. I grew into my skeleton, like the lord of Mictlan, I wore vestments of paper, and offered myself to the dead. When I was eight I found a four leaf clover and knew I would be lucky forever. When I was ten I dried myself between the pages of a book full of riddles and stones. When I was twelve I painted irises in watercolour, then rubbed them out with a fine-granular quartz, it came to life between my flint fingers, its gnawing mouth tore open my window and let in a giant bird that shrilled at the moon. Nobody could live like this. I had to sew my body back up I had to imagine my skeleton was tuneless bone, I stopped looking for luck and flowers in pools of water I stopped listening for storms. I nonchalantly stepped onto a train, but as the doors closed thunder yelled, your eyes entered and the instrument buried inside me screamed. Hannah Silva
Hi, sorry this is late, I’ve just got an idea for setting and the sort of atmosphere I want to create:
(i’m sorry it’s late)
my idea is based on how as a child you’re always scared of the monster under your bed that you’re too naive to think the monster could be growing inside your head ( mental health tw )