Hello world and colonies in outer space with internet connection.Today we have a special visitor to The Peeps Republo D'EEjit, Ms Kat Mortensen, better known to the blog world as 'Poetikat'
A prolific blogger and writer Kat has produced a fine book of poems called 'Shadowstalking' and has kindly agreed to travel all the way from Canadaland where she do live, to visit us and answer three questions.
But before we begin , let's finish off this homemade runner bean wine poteen cocktail. Lovely! Potatos and beans, you can't beat them.
Kat's just been sick but she's coming back now.
Hello Kat,you are most welcome to Castle EEjit. What a cool looking book.I loves the cover! Now lets find out a bit more about the inside, and your poetry life in general.
Q1) What is the poetry scene like in Canada? Are you the member of a writers group?
There are many fine poets in Canada, but it's not easy to be recognised as such. There are not nearly as many opportunities for writers as there appear to be in Ireland, for example. Locally, there are no poets' organizations, no regular readings, no venues that support poets on a regular basis. The culture does not seem to support this particular branch of the arts, but it is my hope that it will change.
There are yearly "festivals" and a small collective of poets who are endeavouring to generate interest in the art, but it is an uphill battle, to be sure. Recently, I participated in the "Cambridge Arts Festival" and did a reading to a very small crowd, most of which were made up by the poets themselves.
I honestly believe, that to the general public, poetry is anathema. They remember being forced to read arduous verses in school (poorly selected, I might add — my sole remembrance of school poetry was a line from a Canadian poet (by God, get the Canadian poets drilled into them, what?), that went like this, "Along the line of smoky hills, the crimson forest stands"... Exciting stuff, isn't it?
Who can blame the masses for not having an interest when that is what they were exposed to? I also believe they associate poetry (as I do myself, if I'm honest) with the Laureates who have all the accolades and whose poetry is often self-indulgent and long-winded.
For this reason, I strive to write for people's enjoyment and not for some spiritual reckoning or reconciliation with grievances against society, religion or personal anxieties.
Who knows? Maybe one day we'll manage to win them over again and we WILL have a packed pub, or crowds at the festivals. If I have anything to do with it, we will!
I recently signed on with the Independent Authors and Illustrators of Canada who have their meetings in the next town over. I look forward to meeting some like-minded people.
Sorry for the rant, you just seem to have opened my particular Pandora's Box.
Q2) When did you start writing poetry, how do you go about writing, do
you write longhand with a special book and pen, or at the computer?
I've written poetry since I was a child. My first success was a poem called, "Horses". It's self-explanatory. I only started to look upon it seriously four years ago when a few events coincided; my parents had to move closer to us, I quit my job and I had a fun poem recognized by a national newspaper.
I have notebooks all over the place! I buy them in dollar stores (pound shops to you) and keep them in my purse, night-table, office - everywhere!
I usually make notes in a pad first and then transfer it to the computer and edit. There are occasions however, when I just work directly on the computer. As for a favourite pen, if I can find one that works, I go with it! I tried pencils, but kept breaking the leads and getting really mad. I suppose there's a bit of pent-up frustration in some of my pieces.
Q3) What is your favourite poem in your book and how did it come to be
written? Can we reproduce it and read it, here on my blog?
I have a few favourites and they are all very different, but one of my top five is "Great Expectations" because it incorporates rhyme, which I love, it tells a story, it has some surprises and is a bit risky. My mother was a rather shocked when she read it. I'm not sure if this is the final edit, but it's in the book.
All Hallow’s Eve, she was naive,
and he had charm.
Doe-eyed and tall, he held in thrall—
proffered his arm.
She walked beside him, like a bride
in wedding gown,
And when he smirked her strings all jerked—
For party night, she looked a fright,
at her own hand.
Mom’s marriage-dress, her hair a mess—
talc through each strand.
The faded rose of drooping hose
and ragged frill,
she looked the part—the broken heart
from Dickens quill.
He wore no rig, to match the gig—
mask set in place.
Drawing her near, he nipped her ear
and licked her face.
As in those tales of ingenues
who meet their fate,
he knew that now the time had come
for his check-mate.
They stole away, shut out the fray
and found a room.
The steel-trap door, an icy floor
she, with her groom.
There Havisham, for swift wham-bam,
gave up the ghost.
Her nuptial gown, rode up and down—
her virtue lost.
Kat Mortensen copyright2010
Well that was fantastibile! Many many thanks to my Canadian comrade Kat for sharing her ideas and poetry with us. For more information and details on how to get a copy of this fab book simply clicky HERE
Now how about another glass of wine,maybe rhubarb this time?
Kat? Kat? Kat come back , where ya runnin to? Was it something I said?