2009. december 1., kedd

On Writing

I am currently undertaking a project which involves travelling between two specific locations and documenting the conversation between the two places in poetic form. This idea expands on previous poetry collections I have written, and serves as a continuation of a process I find increasingly interesting. I focus very intently on the poem as a journey and compile the writing according to a distinct set of ‘rules’. For example, my writing technique involves taking notes throughout the day and night of anything interesting I have seen, heard, read, eaten, smelled – any external sensory activity may be included within the body of the notes and later incorporated into a written piece. I therefore create context and imbue it with meaning along the way. This is a very developmental way of working as it involves a particularly responsive method with clearly defined stages and practises –the documentation process must take place before the writing of the works as it is the experiential component which will determine the creative outcome. The collected notes are later filtered for imagery and concepts and are creatively reconstructed to form a first draft of a poem, thereby creating a third place within the space of the writing.

I define the third place as contained within the sphere of the poem itself, in the language and imagery constructed, or the formation and development of signifiers. The first place may be considered as the origin of these concepts, so the direct environment and external stimuli or signs. This is then processed into the understood meaning, or signified, before undergoing transformation into written or spoken language – the signifier. My poems therefore represent the culmination of a cognitive system of semiotics in order to fully actualise in language a physical surrounding or sensation.

It is important to acknowledge the unique technique behind the writing as this process is vital in understanding the contextual foundations. The initial practise of note taking relies heavily on the Situationist theory of the dérive which propagates that one must expose oneself to encounter in order to actualise inspiration and therefore creative freedom, to play within an environment. By walking through a place with no set orientation or direction, one is able to more fully interact with the space and use it, reconfigure it in language and metaphor. All of the imagery and events within my poetry are true to experience and in this way it may be approached as documentary poetry. The only aspect of my writing that may be fictionalised is the order of events or the relationship of each component within a scene. For example, I may juxtapose a series of images within one poem or scene, but in reality each image may have been encountered on a separate occasion. This is the right of the poet. The creative construction comes from the poets’ ability to manipulate her notes into separate pieces whilst retaining visceral meaning.

In my project, I have explored the twin cities of Norwich and Novi Sad, in particular focusing on the symbol of bridges as a unifying concept. This is relevant as both Norwich and Novi Sad have long and significant history revolving around the bridges within the city. It has furthermore brought the two cities together as Norwich now currently holds a bridge named after its sister city Novi Sad, serving as a symbol of the bond between the two places. I have undertaken creative practise within each city and have produced poems which reflect these experiences. I believe that the physical act of moving through each city with the dérive intention brings the two places closer to one another as they are therefore represented by the same technique. The practise draws out similarities and differences between them both, and more significantly allows for personal interpretation of experience. Eventually this will mesh them together in the form of a book.

The final book is also planned to contain photographs taken by Angus Sinclair. This adds a further dimension to the work that is important to discuss. Angus has been my partner in all of the dérives and experiences within both cities. He has therefore been exposed to the same influences and able to interpret them in his own way. The images he has captured respond to his impressions of place, as my note taking responds to my own. The two forms originate from the same sources and therefore pair together within the book. The word and image are inseparable.


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