I had planned to release a collection of my poetry as an e-book entitled Tales from Redundancy Row. These plans are currently on hold, firstly because I am not convinced it is the right move for me at the moment and secondly I have decided to concentrate on a new poetry project called The Tall Man Chronicles. This collection will chronicle the life of the tree called Tall Man, from the beginning of his life as a tiny seed to the end of his life and the eventual end of the planet.
I am very excited and daunted by the task I have set myself but I am very much looking forward to the challenges ahead. There is the challenge of completing the writing and the challenge of trying to get the collection published.
I have done a lot of research, online, via magazine subscriptions, in book shops and by speaking to other writers and it would seem that there are a number of ways to get poetry published and a number of arguments for and against the “traditional” route. What almost all my research has told me is that publishing poetry is not profitable and even winners of prestigious poetry prizes struggle to sell many books.
I think as a freelance writer you have to sometimes consider the cost-effectiveness of projects, however what must come first is creativity, passion and a love of writing and this is what motivates all of my projects. My hope is that if you pour everything you’ve got into a piece of work, your talent, knowledge and personality will shine through and lead you to publication, which in turn may have its financial benefits. But it is the passion and creativity that are the exciting factors for me. It’s also important to do all you can to make sure your work gets out into the world – ideas are great inside of your head but even greater out in the sun where they can grow and all the world can see.
If the writing goes well, I am considering self-publishing Tall Man as a paperback with a view to selling it in local stores and online. The initial Tall Man poem is inspired by the beautiful countryside of Gloucestershire and its ever dwindling green spaces, and on this basis I am hoping there will be interest locally in the book.
In more poetry related news I am waiting to hear whether a selection of my poetry has been selected to be published in a well-known poetry magazine. There is quite a lengthy consideration period so as soon as I hear anything I will be sure to shout about it on this very page.
Meanwhile this is the poem that started the process of The Tall Man Chronicles and it will probably be the third or fourth poem in the book.
Lives in the garden of a terrace
Old and twisted he has seen it all
Bark brown flecked ambivalence
He reaches forlornly up to the sky
Always forlornly and forever to the sky
Is he reaching for the heaven that may be there
He’s pointing to the danger
Of the ever-present stare
The tall man has stretching arms
Arms of harrowing
Arms of happening
Arms of Earth’s bountiful goodness
If only we can see it
There’s the bridge where a man nearly contemplated jumping
It was “just a crush”
Ringing in his ears
When the planet has turned to ash and grey
The tall man will be pointing sadly to a grave
Standing in a garden terrace
His twisted fingers
Contain great knowledge
Contain terrible wisdom
Contain eternal judgement
Tall man talk to me
Shadow me from obscurity
Tall man proud in his youth
Tall man one day green shoots
Tall man will stand for eternity
Fire his only enemy
Tall man reaching up for the sky
One day he will see the end
©John de Gruyther 2014
Good luck with your plans, my friend. Your work deserves to be shared 🙂
Thanks Rachael, your always thoughtful comments and support means a great deal.
Thank you Rachael 🙂
Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media
Wow – this poem casts a spell. There were a few lines in particular that really put something through me:
‘always forlornly and forever to the sky’
– This seems important to me. How lonely an object in nature can be at times! How it can remind one of one’s seperateness not only from the natural world, but from the other people growing around.
‘Arms of harrowing
Arms of happening’
– Beautiful word choice. For me, this captures the stark and mystical nature of Tall Man, and of the massive stone cold, patient processes in trees – in all nature.
The one part of this poem that tripped me up was the rhyme in these lines:
‘Is he reaching for a heaven that may be there
He’s pointing to the danger
of the ever-present stare’
– For a minute, the spell was broken as I found myself wondering if the poem was beginning to rhyme, and mourning the loss of the rhymeless, mythic freedom I had begun to enjoy.
Anyways, I love it. Good luck with Tall Man! I’ll be checking in : ]