Looking back through poems, found this one, can’t figure why it didn’t make its way into ‘Shorts -a take on poetry’ – I guess I had a reason, can’t think why, next book a possibility, it reads as me…
A year ago today I submitted a manuscript for a poetry book to Potter’s Grove Press. The submissions panel had liked sent examples of my take on poetry and requested submission of a full manuscript for their consideration – this post relates how the manuscript came about.
Now, to start with, I’m not well organised. I have files in all sorts of places, vaguely titled, even more vaguely dated – by year mostly, and when by month by luck! Yet I’ve a kind of mind that can recall fragments of written words, be it a line alone, of a poem, of prose – if I wrote it I kind of know. Now where it is another matter, but with an approximation of when I wrote it I can usually figure one (or two) of several places I may have put it! And yes, I was like this as a scientist – it was the idea, the proof of concept that mattered, the recall of key detail, the ‘show and tell’ – its ever shifting balance, the ultimate story telling, be it live or by publication, that gave the buzz. And yes again, I maybe drove folk a little mad, but hey we got things done and it was hardly ever dull. And as with science, the same with writing, you get to know good people, it makes all the difference.
To cut a long story short, its what I did. I printed every file I had that had a poem in it then cut them up. Turned out I had over 200 poems, and the same again in lines, mostly ‘Six Words’ which I printed too and put their pages to one side. I kept the dining room windows shut as I displayed the individual poems on the fully extended table by size, removing duplicates (a few triplicates too) and those that looked as if they’d run on to a second published page – ‘Shorts’ was the title I’d long had in mind.
Now the shuffle begun, each poem moved, visually aligned to the contents of a page, a first take, a balanced view of text and white space. A flat top image arose of poems, one, two, three to a page, then a thought ‘what do I do with lines?’.
Well, I’d already done something – I’d blogged poems which were six word lines combined – they stared up from the table and labeled ‘Six Words into Verse’ – they gave me an idea – to add a stand alone yet related line to a poem, to create a one page ‘Poem and a line’ of which I’ve now blogged a few.
I cut lines out by instinct to staple to a poem – as if my mind recalling states of it when lines and poems came out. And in this frame I rearranged the table top – by feel, subconscious links placed poems into place – I couldn’t tell you how – beyond a rule of 5.
The scientists amongst you will know ‘The Rule of 5’ has a special meaning, if you check out ‘Lipinski’ you’ll see it in its simplicity – of molecules, of permeability, of barriers crossed, in a way, of things sinking in – it shaped a large part of my life as a scientist – and in my mind gave shape to my collective writing, there had to be structure somewhere, else free-form falls apart.
So to structure, the outline of a book – it’s pages, how it looks. I aimed for a 100 pages seamlessly laid out in 20 sets of 5, variable mixes of pages of these kinds:
One poem to a page (~15)
One poem and a line (~35)
Two poems to a page (~30)
Three poems to a page (~15)
Of which 10 are ‘Six-words into verse’
I ended up with 19 sets 5 – 95 poetic pages, just short of 160 poems in all, the multiples of 5 in brackets give a breakdown of each kind. As a guide, ‘Three poems to a page’ is usually the last page of a set – mind you things did get a little loose with sets towards the end as the options thinned. And yes, one poem broke free and took a second page ’ Called Your Name’ – I can live with that. Oh, and yes the introductory poem too ‘EDC Writing – A Take On Poetry’ – fair enough I say – it tells of where the words of ‘Shorts’ came from.
‘Shorts – a take on poetry’ is EDC’s first offering, 158 poems presented, one, two, three a page, and as a poem plus a line, you know the kind, drawn from EDC blog posts made 2014 to end of 2019 – the River Dixon (Potter’s Grove Press) re-blog gives a link to Amazon where you are – in the UK an ebook for less than a pound and a paperback for just over a fiver for a limited time. My best to all out there – ‘Shorts’ wouldn’t exist without you.
You’re here then
I’ve always been
I couldn’t tell
No words then
Not as good
Me I guess
No one you believe
Not the same though
As when – Embankment, river crossing
More Kings Cross, adjacent streets
Need your hand held
You let go
I moved on
I guess me too
You got it
See you soon
As we approach the clock change, let time fall back an hour, a throwback post today at the Go Dog Go Cafe where I contribute now and then…
False dawn before the clock change
within darkness comes his fall
holes dug laid out before him
loose words piled high ignored
heavy hands of time push back
let him swallow on his lies
her tears wet over
raked old ground subsides
Eric Daniel Clarke (aka EDC Writing) is an Englishman, raised and schooled in Devon close to its Somerset and Dorset borders, and the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. He has spent his adult life near the River Thames, in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, working as a scientist at the boundaries of the physical and life sciences. Now in his later years he finds himself writing poetry and prose, using words in place of molecules to explore life’s boundaries; observed, imagined, of his mind and yours.
He takes in the view
all the lines and spaces
curves and wiggles traced
their flow and punctuation
top to bottom footnotes
nothing hidden from him
He turns the pages over
no choice she made him
dense close packed tension
no clarity or meaning
she too complicated for him
too deep too dark he leaves
She wrote stories he couldn’t read
Page 10: Shorts: a take on poetry – Eric Daniel Clarke – Potter’s Grove Press
For a second week, Esther Chilton has kindly had me as a guest on her blog – this poem (quite long for me) sums up where my short poems come from…
I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s now time for my guest post. If you’d like to feature as a guest on my blog, please get in touch. I’m looking for stories and non-fiction pieces of up to 1500 words and poems of up to 40 lines. If you can also send me a photo and a little bit about yourself too, that would be great. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week, my guest writer was Eric Clarke, with his poem England – Isolated Views. To read it, click here. And here’s another one from him for you to enjoy:
A Take On Poetry
Beaconsfield to Marylebone
Maidenhead to Paddington
Windsor to Waterloo
lines in, and out again
Exeter from all begun
Devon left, half century on
River Thames meandering
fields beside, counties bridged
Buckinghamshire, Berkshire views
English ways, getting there
View original post 82 more words
This is page 18 of ‘Shorts – a take on poetry’ published earlier this year in May as a paperback and e-book – plus a review which appeared on Amazon.com in June from someone I don’t know – who I can’t thank enough.
* * *
Not of light nor darkness
eyes closed seen not being
eyes open memory clinging
unreal still believed
Dark fell into night
light showed up by day
shadows took to shade
chaos spins their end
Shuttered eyes open
touching what he feels
words laid out marauding
captured light reveals
* * *
Ama No Iwato
What an excellent and unusual poetry book
Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020
As an author, Eric Daniel Clarke has such a profound sense of what humans need, what relationships and life is, and what makes all of our hearts tick and break. He puts your feelings into the words, the words into short blocks, the blocks into profound stories that touch your soul. Plus, it makes you smile. The author has a unique way of handling words and emotions.
I am looking forward to reading this book over and over because one time is not enough!
Thank you so much, Eric, for all your writing. Poets and writers like you make the greatest difference in this world, more than you may ever know!
* * *
The nature of our online world, as real, you remember people, however distant, they’re here in some way – a review by L Owen who blogged until a few years ago:
Easy reading short quirky poems about life and relationships
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 May 2020 by L Owen (Amazon UK)
‘Easy reading but very thought provoking. Eric has a marvellous way of writing one thing but possibly meaning something else entirely. What exactly? That’s for you to decide, to interpret in your own way and that dear reader is the joy of poetry. From a poets point of view… I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.’
‘From a poets point of view…’ – a review I made in 2016:
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 May 2016 by EDC Writing (Amazon UK)
If you’re anything like me, you write lines and poetry from within, the bedrock of subconscious giving rise to words – yet not always knowing what it is you’ve said?
‘Shorts – a take on poetry’ has it’s first review – anonymous from Germany – I’ve a good idea who wrote it – thank you – I couldn’t have asked for more…
5.0 out of 5 stars A way of being, the fundamentals of who we are
Reviewed in Germany on May 12, 2020
Eric’s poems are short love stories, the stories of our lives, if you will, where we meet half-way, collide, let go, never get to meet. This is a book about another me, another you, things we know or think we know.
Full of puns and (un)expected humor, this poetry collection is as light as a feather, yet as deep as the wishing well itself, and if you’d like to know when you’ll hear the splash, you’ll have to drop a coin into it first.
An absolute delight to read!