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Tuesday, 30 May 2017


I am researching and writing a memoir of my father and, inevitably, it is laced with autobiographical ingredients. In order not to be isolated in my thoughts, part of the research involves the lives of others and hopefully I can learn more about life and how to write about lives by looking beyond my own nose.

I have been reading a lot of brief biographies and obituaries of a wide variety of people, some famous, some infamous and some not famous at all. As I read, I am looking for a hook, an incident, a quirk, a quotation or whatever and when I find a way in I just let my imagination loose.

The poems in this project are approximately 10 lines but if the flow is good I will not be restricted.

To give you a flavour of what might become a pamphlet (or a hell of a fantasy dinner party), here's the collection so far:

Frank Sinatra
Tammy Wynette
William S. Burroughs
Barbara Castle
Idi Amin
Francis Bacon
Oliver Hardy
Rosa Parks
Harry Patch
Thomas Millar
Burt Lancaster
Roald Dahl
Katy Jurado
Louis Armstrong

I know. I know. What the Sam Hill's the matter with the boy?

I am not yet ready to share the poems widely until I am happy with them.

I have found that reading them aloud makes them breathe a little better.

I could take the nervy step of finding 'test' audiences to get a reaction.

Onward for a while longer, adding to the list and seeing where all this leads - that road to God knows where.........

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