Reflections/poem biography for White
frost landscapesmaller

“It clutches ghosts while we sleep,
brittles grass, fragments paths,
corpses leaves.”

In contrast to its name, ‘White’ was written as a poem about the darkness of my winter mood. Concentrating at surface level on the effects of a frost, it is also about how depression distorts everything – how I see the world sometimes changes overnight.

Over the years, my depressions have taken different forms. Depression, like more physically manifested illnesses such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, seems to be classified more by a wide range of different symptoms than anything that may or may not be in common as a cause. It is a wide umbrella, under the brim of which I have had bouts of extreme anguish, agitation, emotional pain…. At other times, more numbness, tiredness and lethargy.

None of this is pleasant, though I’ve always been lucky enough to still function and carry on regardless. But, I have come to wonder if the latter type of depression is also necessary, my body’s way perhaps of telling me that I am working too hard and need to take a step back. It is a delicate line to balance between enforced recuperation of energy and slipping into utter pointlessness. But, if I heed the signs and take that step back soon enough, it does give me space to see the light kicked up from weary trainers and then help my body to rebuild some verve.

Electric Questions - lit version smallerDiscussion Point

How far through the poem do you get before you realise what ‘it’ might be? What are the effects of not stating this directly at the start but instead creating a delayed revelation through small hints?

Inspiration/Writing Prompt

Imagine overnight something happens to you/a fictional character while you’re sleeping. Or that something happens to the world around you/your fictional character. What do you wake to? How do you know that something is different? What happens next?

plentyfish cover (1)At poetry readings, I often enjoy hearing about the background to a particular poem. ‘Wednesday Reflections/Sometimes I smile’ is my attempt to share the inspiration, frustrations, pain, philosophies and thoughts that lie behind my poetry collection ‘plenty-fish’. Each Wednesday, this blog will contain one of these ‘poem biographies’, as well as points for potential reader discussion and also writers’ prompts. My collection ‘plenty-fish’ may be bought from Nine Arches Press, here, or my website, here. More Wednesday Reflections on other poems in the collection can also be found here.