Monday, June 14, 2010

TFE's Poetry Bus with Jeanne Iris

Jeanne Iris set two great tasks this week for Poetry Bussers over at Revolutionary Revelry.

The first asked us to sit somewhere and just listen for five or ten minutes. I haven't sat alone, doing absolutely nothing, for a while. This morning I managed about 40 seconds before I started fiddling with my phone, checking out the cat, worrying about my vegetables (the wind wooooooooooh the wind!)

The sort of poetry that comes from trying to pin sounds to a page is very different to what I usually write. Some people, like Irish poet Kit Fryatt, have a definite gift for translating pure sounds into words on a page, playing with sound, turning things on their head.
I struggled, and what I came up with is very rushed, but what was great about this task was it made me listen in a new way.

I did try doing the audio, but had terrible arguments with my phone, computer, and audacity.

A song thrush bripp brrripp ping reeeeeep pip
A distant delivery van, shhhhhhh, bump
The wind woooooooooh wish swish wooooh
A song thrush brrrip brrrrip brrrrrip creep pip
A drip drip drip of silence from
an upstairs room.
The wind husssssshhhh, shhhhhh, don’t wish
A songbird, brippp, rirrrrrip, ping ping bleeep
Swish swish swish three cars sail past
on a stretch of road below.


  1. PF, your onomatopoetic poem places me right there, overlooking the country road. Such harmony among the sounds!

  2. I'm with Jeanne; you've put me right there above it all and I love the repetition of the birdsound. Really nice!


  3. Very aurally evocative. I particularly liked the dripping silence!

  4. I understand about the recording difficulties (I won't even attempt it), but I would love to hear this read orally. It's great onomatopoeia!

  5. Lovely.Specially the las couple o lines.Reminds me a bit of Niamh Bagnells.Real pity we couldn't hear this one.Computers, meh!

  6. I was going to copy and paste my favourite bit, and then realised on a re-read it was all my favourite bit. Yes, I'm with TFE, lovely and wished I could have heard it.

  7. Jeanne Iris, thanks for reading, and the driving too. Nice job - but did you get any sleep? The links were put up so promptly - seriously impressive!

  8. Thanks Poetikat, Off to bed, but looking forward to seeing what you've come up with!

    Dominic, thanks. Aurally evocative, eh? What a great phrase . .

  9. Thanks Karen - I really wanted to try the recording thing. It brings the poems to life when you hear them being read. Buuuut I tried many, many approaches, and still failed miserably. Grrrrrr. I'll master it yet, tho!

  10. Tfe, I agree. Computers are mean, disobliging, unco-operative things.
    Truth is tho, the fault is all mine. I haven't a teeny tiny clue about how to record myself reading. And if it involves a microphone (which I'm beginning to suspect it does) that's me out of the race first off. Or is it something to do with mobile phones? Cause I did try that too and . .. .nothing. Sigh.

  11. Titus, I've said it before and I'll say it again - you say the nicest things! Thank you!

  12. I quite like it, especially the upstairs room breaking up the middle bit.

  13. I haven't heard of Kit before, and I live in Ireland too! That would imply that I know everyone but of course I don't. I'm sorry your life fell apart :( It sounds like a delicious novel though...patent pending!
    Glad to have found you, that poetry brought us together.

  14. Hi Jessica, glad to meet you! I came across Kit Fryatt's stuff in the Stinging Fly - really strong, and different.
    My life's ok (thanks be to god), but the life of the character I was writing about on this blog wasn't doing too good. I decided to leave her to her own devices a few months ago and hop on Totalfeckin' eejit's Poetry Bus instead. And now this blog is all about poetry - and connecting with other people who love/write/read poetry. Thanks for visiting!

  15. It's many years since I heard a song thrush - not many around these parts, so my ears couldn't supply their song, but the swish swish swish of the cars on a local motorwaya is part of my daily music. I came looking for an email address, as I like to get tp know bloggers behind the scenes, but you are incommunicado! My email is on my View Profile page if you ever want to say Hi!