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Polish your poetry with the Writers Bureau!

April 1st, 2010

Last weekend I was in Hull.  I don’t really know what I expected, as in the past I’d only driven though to the ferry terminal.  But what a pleasant surprise – a vibrant old town and museum quarter; ‘The Deep’ a designer aquarium that looks proudly out to sea like a ship’s prow; beautiful villages and coast only half an hour’s drive away and, of course, the iconic Humber Bridge.  It may not be the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world any more, but it’s still pretty impressive!

Humber Bridge

But I should imagine that Hull was a far bleaker place to live when Philip Larkin was University Librarian there.  During the war Hull suffered the worst bombing raids outside London with 95% of its houses either damaged or destroyed.

Larkin’s poems – often bleak and disconcerting, though always technically brilliant – appeal to me.  And I’m obviously not alone – in 2008 The Times named him as Britain’s greatest post-war poet.  Many people are only familiar with ‘This be the verse’  – or a parody of it! But one of my favourites is currently Poem of the Month on the Larkin Society website.  Try it and see what you think.

And if you fancy yourself as the next Larkin (though perhaps with a slightly less dysfunction love life) why not try The Writers Bureau Art of Writing Poetry Course.  If you don’t know the difference between a Sestina and a Sonnet, a Rubai and a Rondel and you think iambic pentameters are something you feed to the cat, perhaps it’s just what you need.  Or, if such technicalities aren’t for you, there’s plenty of useful information on crafting free verse, presenting your poetry to an audience and polishing your work to competition standard.

At least we get a couple of extra days over the weekend.  If the weather warms up there’s lots of gardening on the cards for me.  But whatever you do, enjoy your Easter break!

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