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Being Proud of One’s ‘Darlings’

March 1, 2014

WOW!

WOW!

One of the first things anyone attending a creative writing course is told is ‘One must be prepared to kill one’s darlings’. A fancy term for edit, polish, edit, polish, scrap, edit, polish, edit.

There comes a time, however, when one has permission to not only love one’s darlings, but to be proud of them.

In my third BA year, the Writing Year, I wrote a song cycle of poems. Based on 11 real women and one from Greek mythology, it’s still a song cycle in search of a composer.

Some of the poems have been submitted individually for publication, and in competitions. Two made the longlist for the Wordsonthewaves (WOW) competition. One made it to the shortlist.

Upstream, The Bliss of Heaven was one of those poems that arrived almost fully formed. It hung around the edges of my work while I fretted over the difficult pieces as time ticked away and my twelve-week deadline approached. Then I picked it up, gave it a polish, and double-checked that my beginner’s Latin was correct (thank you, Francesca!).

That was that:  a little poem about Margaret Roper and her father Thomas More; slotted chronologically into a folder, along with its 11 sisters and biographical notes.

Last night, my ‘darling’ won this year’s WOW Poetry Award. It is published in the WOW! 2014 Anthology.

I’m proud.

WOW! Anthology

WOW! Anthology

 

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