Friday, 31 August 2012

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - writing cue - day 13

Your poem must be based on any Wordsworth poem. It must be titled "The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings."

Monday, 27 August 2012

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - writing cue - day 9

Write a poem about what a bitch it is to have to go to a dull boring office with crass commercial philistines who don't see the beauty of art rather than sit around languidly writing poetry all day. For bonus points, make say nasty things about publishers and how your genius will be recognised one day, long after you're dead, and then they'll be sorry, but see if you care.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - writing cue - day 8

It's Sunday. You have time on your hands. You could spend it with family, and/or doing fun things outdoors. But no. You are a poet.

So, today, you will create a new poetic form. And explain it by writing a poem in that form.

Of course you can name it after yourself.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Friday, 24 August 2012

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Monday, 20 August 2012

Godawful Poetry Fortnight - writing cue - day 2

Today's poem must be about love again. But at any age.
And it
• must be in rhyming couplets
• should, preferably, be in terrible meter
• should, preferably, use the rhyming pairs love/dove and moon/june

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

What Godawful Poetry Fortnight did next: call for exits

As you already know, Godawful Poetry Fortnight starts on the 19th August and runs up to the 31st August. This blog is its literal and spiritual home. All previous posts on the subject here are tagged thus.

Our Patron Saint is William Wordsworth.
And he gets this signal honour for saying that poetry "is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings." Way too many aspiring poets have rallied behind that banner, too few going so far as recollecting those emotions in tranquillity, let alone reading the rest of the preface to Lyrical Ballads (which can be found on Bartleby, for those interested).

This is its fifth year.

Godawful Poetry Fortnight isn't a competition such, so we don't invite entries. We instead invite all poets, of whatever degree of cringing self-image, to use its licence to put down their very worst work. Let it all out, we say, like you would acidity or, erm, other body wastes. So this is our call for exits.

Post godawful poems as often as you like during the Fortnight. (The True Believers Challenge: post thirteen godawful poems, one on each day of the Fortnight.)

If I can think of 13 prompts in time, I'll post them all here, and you can use them, if you need them. No promised though.

Use a Godawful Poetry Fortnight tag or label on your post, and/or maybe a #GodawfulPoetryFortnight hashtag on Twitter and/or Google+. You can link to this post or this blog if you want to, and/or you can alert me on Twitter) and/or Facebook and/or Google+. None of that is required if you'd rather not. The important thing is the evacuation. I mean exit. I mean poetry.

Right then. Onward! Upward!

Friday, 10 August 2012

The Olympics: still sexist after all these years

This Olympic Games made history by making it mandatory for every participating country to have women athletes in their teams. So we saw even staunch bastions of male chauvinism send in at least a few women. Hurrah for that.

But there is still sexism evident in various individual sports.

• Until just a few months before the games, there were still attempts being made to insist that women badminton players and boxers compete wearing skirts, and that women beach-volleyballers wear bikinis (while not insisting on abbreviated costumes for the men). Thankfully wiser counsel prevailed and left it to the players to decide. (A few years ago, indoor volleyball had suffered similar conniptions, with fusty old administrators insisting that women players wear really short shorts, while not mandating any length for men.)

• In artistic gymnastics, events for men and women differ. And in events that are similar, like the floor exercises, you'll see that women have music playing, while men don't, seemingly implying that the men require just strength while the women must have grace and artistic interpretation.

• Full-contact sports like boxing and wrestling, which used to be men-only, now have women's events. So at least there's recognition that women can fight too. But these sports have far fewer categories than the men's events. Boxing has has only three weight categories for women against ten for men. (Which is why Mary Kom had to box in a heavier weight category than she had thus far). Free style wrestling has seven weight categories for men and four for women. Greco-Roman wrestling has seven categories for men and none for women. The other 'combat' sports—judo, taekwondo and fencing—have an even balance of weight categories.

• Even athletics has a wee level of discrimination against women. There is no 50km walk for women, though women compete regularly in far longer, arguably more gruelling events like triathlons and ultra-marathons. And the men's decathlon (as the name indicates, 10 events) is matched by the women's heptathlon (7 events).

• Shooting allowed women in for the first time in Los Angeles, 1984. There was mixed gender competition—which seems logical, considering that gender does not augment or detract from accuracy with the use of a piece of technology—until Barcelona in 1992, but separate events after that. And there are fewer events for women (six for women, nine for men) and fewer slots (each country is limited to 28 athletes, 20 men and eight women).

• Then there is sexism of a different nature: synchronised swimming and rhythmic gymnastics do not have men's events. (Synchronised diving, however, does.) Grace of movement is surely not an exclusively feminine trait?

• This must be said. The shining beacon for gender equality is the otherwise elitist-by-its-very-nature equestrian section, where men and women compete as equals.

IOC, you've come a long way, baby, but you still have ground to cover.