I am currently writing about Belfast Confetti, which I absolutely love. It’s amazing. It goes back to what I was saying about shock-and-awe with E. E. Cummings – this does the same. I wouldn’t even think to use punctuation in the innovative way that he has – it’s just genius. I love the way the explosion is represented by the asterisk – the rifle fire by the — – and how he doesn’t just pick out punctuation that visually represents these things, but connects with it in ways that are to do with meaning as well. Genius.
But I’m also working on (21,000 words in!) the ‘contemporary poetry’ e-book to accompany the ‘literary heritage’ poetry. I’ve got a couple of essays to stick in to show you how they might look and I need to finish my analysis of Belfast Confetti before moving on to Poppies and the Simon Armitage extract about 9/11. I keep getting side-tracked by how wonderful these poems are – like really, really wonderful. I loved Mametz Wood and it sent me off in a spiral of information hunting. I loved The Yellow Palm and The Right Word and I can’t for the life of me pick out a favourite, because they’re all masterpieces. I thought I was going to struggle to form my own words on Belfast Confetti because it is fairly complex to write about, and I absolutely cannot distinguish a favourite.
However, this is the new cover of the second book in the series, and I’m mighty impressed. I’m going to do one for the existing e-book on ‘literary heritage’ poems in ‘Conflict’ – the one I did was functional, but not flashy.
Here’s a preview:
And on the subject of Belfast Confetti, search on Google Maps for the streets in the poem – and add ‘photos’ – have a look at the murals around the area. And then listen to this:
I think this poem touched me the most because a couple of my best friends are from Belfast and because I grew up with this conflict so near to me. It was only in 1996 that Manchester was bombed by the IRA; it was only 1993 that Shankill Road was subject to a huge bomb. It might be 20 years ago, but it’s fresh to me. Plus, I grew up with Joan Lingard’s ‘Across the Barricades’ stories of love across the lines. These stories were my Romeo and Juliet.
Because all of this is recent, there’s a lot of excellent footage on youtube of Shankill and the Falls areas, and it’s something that definitely influenced the music I listened to, growing up. Here’s another:
If you want to read more about the AQA poetry anthology contemporary poetry, you can find my ebook here. Remember, you don’t need a kindle or e-reader to read it; just download the ‘Kindle for PC’ software. If you want an hour’s lesson with me (or even half an hour!) you can find all my details on my website. One hour via skype is 20.00 only! By the end, I promise you will OWN the poems!!