Sunday, 26 September 2010

Free verse poem 2 Message in a bottle

Yes another adaption of the police's hit album, cheap, cliqué maybe, but inspired by real emotions. For someone who makes me wonder this ever hour of the day, I present my own adaption of this Free verse poem.

The waves are full of them

A glance sets off another.

That one could need a Gem

Or a hundred thousand to

Get to your beach wherever.

-------

So this is a rough sketch

The meaning is the same,

I’ve lit the match, writ the

Book, but I ask---

-------

Do you feel the same?

--------

I don’t know if I reach you

You’re so far gone, yet I

Sealed it very tight

And addressed to you my dear.

-----------

Will you ever reply?

----------

The mariner has read it,

I dare say a spaceman

Or two-

But yet none of those concern

More to me than you, you, you

I hope you see what I hath writ

----------

The suspense is too much, reply!

-----------

Lo it washes up on your shore,

Yet no answer to me befalls,

The look of concern wipes

Across your brow, and is replaced

With a smile.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Two Years in a Day

College, as any student will proclaim, the hardest learning curve one will partake in life; however why is it so hard? Is it the new material? We learn things every day, it’s human nature to want to grow in some shape or form: what makes this so different? Well you see, college has a significant ‘leg up’ on the competition of skills to be learned in life. It expects you to do in two years what it took five to grasp the basics of what you begged yourself to remember over five years.
How are we recommended to learn and understand the ‘Monstro,’ of information they lay upon us? Simply, balance your time and cram as much in as you can! Unfair? Personally I think so, however effective. The work on its own though any human can deal with, don’t believe me? Try a desk job.
What causes more students to break down in their second year is the applications to university, right from day one (or 272, if you count the first year) they expect you ready and willing to go. As in the famous words of Garfield the cat, who probably borrowed them from some other genius: ‘The spirit is willing, however the flesh is fat,’ in my case, I think that sums up the situation, at least metaphorically.
General opinion from teachers is rising that a third year should become statutory in colleges for preparation of the two years of intense study, (a foundation year if you will). Where a student can be taught all the basic skills they are going to need for whatever subject they will do, so it can be done to its best by everyone. I’m in agreement of this move, a little extra help in maths and learning techniques would have carried me a long way much further.
In short this foundation year would also include a basic introduction to several core subjects and new subjects for the students to have a ‘taster’ of in the hopes the drop out rate of new students will decrease.
As a student myself I feel too pushed to achieve my best, which I’m quite happy to do. There is no clear path to getting to where I want to go, yet too many ‘lighthouses in the fog’. Having to worry about; personal statements, my future finances, forms to continue receiving support form college, exam re-sits, future exam results, course research for universities is just too much to handle on my first day back!
Today I tried to cram two years of planning, theory and life into one day, tomorrow I will have to do it all over again, would you like to?

Friday, 10 September 2010

The Art of Literature

There are over a million words in the English language, probably to account for all the amazing things on this planet. Pick up any old book to get an example of this, they’re everywhere! To draw example to this; I’m currently reading Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, (and am loving it) in the first part I’ve found a whooping 23 new words. In my sister’s own reading book, supposedly for the still developing mind, there was another word that crossed my path.
It proves the point, reading with your children improves your own IQ, or at least your word power. Where does it leave use without children? Though Victorian literature, one of the richest sources of those shreds of gold, it’s not always the best place for them. I can account for myself while reading Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, it’s not fun when your knowledge of the polysyllabic arts is only basic. My advice for those studying English,, or those who just want to be more efficient with their word counts:

  • Learn a new language, maybe just the basics!
  • Don’t be afraid to pick up a children’s short story
  • Look for online dictionaries, one word a day goes a long way
  • Spice up your mouth, simply use a new word, see how your friends react
  • Music, it has many uses if you look in the right places

It’s been a long time between blogs, hopefully with a more structured day these will become more regular. And please, don’t count out decent poetry, it’s reading/ writing season, poetry will return.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The closest thing I'll ever get to fan mail

A friend recommended that I fill in the book meme, for a bit of fun, to let any readers or fans know a little more about me. I thought about it and concluded ‘this will be the closest I’ll get to fan mail,’

So I took her up on it. 55 questions related to my life of literature, any other questions, feel free to ask.


(just to note there is a formatting error on this page that wont allow me to edit the colour!)

1. Favourite childhood book?

It may not be classical literature, but it was in fact the Garfield pocket book series, ‘Here’s looking at you’ always sticks out in my memory.

2. What are you reading right now?

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

I don’t feel comfortable borrowing from libraries; deadlines are too much pressure, so my room is my own personal library.

4. Bad book habit?

Picking up attributes from the protagonist until the book is finished, which takes quite a while.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing

6. Do you have an e-reader?

A what?

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

One at a time, when I was younger I decided it was a huge demand on my memory to read several I never exceeded three.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

Not really if I’m honest, but I wish it would encourage me to read more.

9. Least favourite book you read this year?

I can’t think of one, or see one on my shelves. I think I’ve been fortunate to not have read a bad one this year.

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year?

Oh, I’ve had an amazing year for books, December 26th to New Year I read Flowers for Algernon, it broke my heart, but this year perhaps the book thief, Marcus Zusak, it was amazing.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Maybe twice a year, or when I can get the genre, classical literature, I love reading it, but it is a great strain on my concentration and memory.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

I have a wide variety of books in that, sci-fi, Dr who books got me started, so I suppose they’re worth mentioning, as well as poetry, obviously a great passion of mine.

13. Can you read on the bus?

I have a phobia of riding buses alone, so probably not.

14. Favourite place to read?

Well I find the corridor outside chemistry in college became a favourite this year; I spent hours there, maybe it will be when term starts.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

I’ve had too many bad experiences to share my books, my sister gives them away, some people vandalised them others stole them/lost them.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

*Cringe* that’s barbaric!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

I’ve only done that in one book, and that was for an exam, I wasn’t happy about it either.

18. Not even with text books?

God no! Who’d be crazy enough to do that?!

19. What is your favourite language to read in?

Without a doubt English, I lack the ability to read proficiently in French

20. What makes you love a book?

I can’t really decide, I like something with a little lore, as in fantasy. In sci-fi I want characters to be real, and the technology to be explained. Though I find the ‘real person’ aspect a bit thing in what I read.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

It must be amazing, especially for me to put my neck out recommending it.

22. Favourite genre?

Sci-fi though it’s a close tie to thriller, the kite runner and a thousand splendid suns, the genesis (guilty pleasures of mine)

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

Graphic Novels, Battle Royal books are enjoyable, and there are some kingdom hearts books I’d love to flick through.

24. Favourite biography?

John Barrowman’s ‘Anything Goes’ was simply fabulous

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

Not that I remember. Though I’m due to read one about poetry

26. Favourite cookbook?

My mum’s, there’s lost of yummy things in it, though the internet provides lots of great ideas too

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?

The book thief it made me consider writing children’s stories.

28. Favourite reading snack?

Trying to kick the habit, though usually anything to hand

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

I don’t think it ever has, I don’t read books when they first come out, much too expensive

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

When they criticise my work, there’s a lot of talent to be desired yet.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I’m known for it, I’m difficult to lease with poetry, with stories if there’s a plot hole, I’ll find it.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?

French, no idea why, but I have the basics to why not?

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

Vanity Fair, by William Thackeray what a way to kill brain cells, but I don’t regret reading it.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

Vanity Fair, it’s huge, trust me

35. Favourite poet?

Sylvia Plath, she ignited my passion for poetry

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

None, I’d never finish them

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?

Never, but if I took any out it’d be always.

38. Favourite fictional character?

Wow, this one is rather hard. I admit I’ve become emotionally bonded with quite a few protagonists. Charlie Gordon, from lowers for Algernon, must be my favourite though, I feel me and him are similar in too many ways for comfort.

39. Favourite fictional villain?

The most clever in my opinion, and sadly most ruthless, who’s name I can’t remember, from the genesis secret.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

I’ve always been known to take Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban away with me, but now I bring whatever I’m reading, as well as a Garfield book for my sister.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

I can go months without reading a book but the guilt settles in after a fortnight.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Pride and Prejudice, though I’m meaning to give it a second go later.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

Everything.

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?

None I can think of, all have been disappointments

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

Jane Eyre, or Harry Potter films, saddens me to see good sub plots wasted

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

I imagine there was once I time I peaked at £100 but now I won’t spend more than £4

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

Never, I just dive in, and hope for the best

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Failure to connect with the main character, it’d be like walking without the ground.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

As I profess a modest library, yes, I do.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

Keep, I know I’ll read them again one day.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

No, just ones I don’t have the complete set for, or the much larger ones.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

I don’t think I can name one

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

The book thief, it was a wonderful, get slightly saddening surprise.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

The lovely bones, by Alice Sebold, it gave out the wrong message entirely, and the end really disappointed.

55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

Garfield pocket books all the way!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Villanelle III

It's been some time since my last post, sorry, creative juices not flowing fast enough for the moment. Writing on my real life experience always produces something much more worthwhile to read in my opinion. So if it is not an assault to your eyes, here you go.

Heartbreak villanelle

I have done it once, twice again,
Split again, shards on the ground
I have broken that heart of mine.

Sealed away for years, the shame
priceless piece of dirt, ground bound
I have done it once, twice again,

Split it in two of course, my pain
Never factored in - all surround
I have broken that heart of mine.

Neither glue nor shoe pressing,
Power, at the pieces it frowned
I have done it once, twice again,

What a let down I am becoming
Dust of it, no longer accomplished
I have broken that heart of mine.

So where am I now? Starting
Again, remembering the pound -
I have done it once, twice again,
I have broken that heart of mine.