Hayley Green – SST8 Headline – First Draft

10 Jan

So, this is a poem I worked on at Arvon. I am so caught up in it at the moment, I wanted to use this opportunity to develop ths piece rather than focus on something completely new. I also thought it might be different to try and take a poem from the page to the stage as I usually do it the other way round.

When I was younger my Gran and I used to bake a lot and with the left over pastry we’d make a jam roly poly (not the jam roly poly everyone thinks it is), which was just for me. Essentially, this activity was a distraction from the pretty tough time I was having and was a rare time that I felt like I was special and loved – sop, sorry. I want it to explore the atmosphere around me at the time.

What I would like feedback on:

Does the poem paint the picture of the activity?

I’m aware the refrain is not strong enough at the moment for the content of the poem.

Is the form working (Bopp), or shall I try taking it out of this to create freedom to explore it further and add more?

Thanks!

Ode to a Jam Roly Poly

My flour and egg parcel,

sticky red splurging from your folded corners.

You were Gran’s kisses in the kitchen on Sundays

when arguments boiled over in the living room.

We snuggled in a cuddle of steam,

lamb, slow cooking in the oven.

 

Life tasted sweeter on sugar cooked Sundays.

 

On the days the living room boiled into the kitchen

you wore a cling film coat,

left my stomach –

hungry,

my taste buds un-hugged,

my sweet tooth bitter

with every mouthful

of over peppered dinner.

 

Life tasted sweeter on sugar cooked Sundays.

 

Gran gave us extra love.

We outcasts –

lumps of hand me down pastry from big brother apple pie

kneaded with strawberry jam

so we both bled the same colour

through the identical slits I knifed into our skin.

 

Life tasted sweeter on sugar cooked Sundays.

Advertisements

One Response to “Hayley Green – SST8 Headline – First Draft”

  1. MouthyPoets January 15, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    Hi Hayley,

    So much to enjoy in this poem; “We snuggled in a cuddle of steam” and I really like the contrast of the tastiness of the first stanza and the uncomfortableness of the second, I also like the repeated use of some words within that contrast – it creates a really interesting sense of compromise. I also really like how the ending kind of attacks the pudding and it is painful but somehow nice, there is a sense of self-harm to it, a sense of pain but in that pain equality and comfort which is interesting. Although it doesn’t leave for a very satisfactory ending… a very uncomfortable one in fact, but I like that – it leaves me with important questions.

    I am unsure about the direct address to the food… it can feel clumsy sometimes, particlarly in “You were Gran’s kisses in the kitchen on Sundays”… have you thought about trying an edit without the direct address and see what happens? I feel like it might push you to describe the act of making it in a way that is your nan’s warmth rather than relying on metaphor and simile…or maybe that particular line just feels weak? Not sure, worth a go surely?

    So the refrain…-The issue for me is that there is a cliche in it “life tasted sweeter” and having sugar in there as well even makes that cliche redundant. You said you know it is weak but what is this refrain actually doing for you? What do you think it is important for it to say? Is it weak because you don’t know what you want it to say or because you do but it’s just not said well enough?

    In answer to your questions…

    Does the poem paint the picture of the activity?
    Hmmm it does, but note entirely, because there are smilies and metaphors I am often thinking of the kisses or the hugs rather than seeing the activity… which is kind of what I am talking about above.

    Is the form working (Bopp), or shall I try taking it out of this to create freedom to explore it further and add more?
    The narrative/dyamic use of the 3 stanza’s is perfect. So really it is just about the refrain. I also think your lines could be longer and there could be more sensory and specific detail about this process… again kind of feeding to my other points.

    I hope this is helpful in some way – really enjoyed reading this. I am hungry now.

    Debris x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: