Thursday, 28 May 2015

V, W, X, Y, and Z - Alphabet of my mother

V - very keen on going out for little walks and a chat. Last time we had several expeditions from the house. One was to St George's Square, where we sat on a bench in the sun and I saw her eyes shut so gently, just like that, still sitting up, pretty much mid-sentence. Like a little dormouse needing rest. Smile.

W - wanting me to answer the phone, even though I am out driving for hours each day, go volunteering and doing errands, and sometimes shut out the world by sitting on the sofa watching a film.

X - extremely good at being tolerant, I have never been ticked off for being late, or for not visiting often enough or not phoning enough, etc.

Y - yoghurt with prunes! Her favourite pudding, one she didn't try to get us to eat.

Z - 'having a zizz' my parents' word for 'having a nap'.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Drawing parallels

How can my approach to Arabic be useful when thinking about poetry?

I do my corrections, line by line, page by page, no time pressure.
I do not attempt to read anything else.
I have 2 books to go back to, working through page by page, no time pressure.

I picked one book in English to read, no time pressure there either.

It is true that I have nibbled just one leaf from an entire tree, but any more would give me indigestion.
All my plans change and have to be restarted, it's just a fact.
I have given up expecting anything as such, whatever comes along is helpful.
I am not expecting to know a certain amount by a set date.

I do have a time scale based on my experience with French, 5 years to GCSE, 3 more years to A-level, 4 more years to degree level. That's from 2011 to 2024, academic years of course. ??I'll be 60?? ****
I know I can look up the texts offered for AS and pick the simplest ones... just filled up a basket!

...

So apply all that to poetry:

I can't read it all
I can't follow contemporary poetry in detail
I can't read more than a fraction of it

Make sure I nibble from a leaf I rate highest of all
Take my time to assess what I might want to study next
The more management meetings I hold with myself the better
Allow digestion time, let my mind settle

I am newer to poetry so I don't yet know how my mind works
Observe what works and what doesn't, that will guide me
Try paring what I do right down to the minimum
Be super focused, take time to think and make a new plan
Then relax and just follow my own plan, until things change

Take a lot of time away from it each day
Treat it like laundry, do exactly what needs to be done, then just go away

...

Fresh air
Family
Friends
Films
Fun



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