Monday, October 4, 2010

Pigeon Fanciers - some general notes

In many ways this poem is a nostalgic investigation of a culture that has been largely lost. The difficulty with pigeon fanciers was the avoidance of cliche and sentimentality.

Pigeon Fanciers is a piece of creative writing. I know no pigeon fanciers and have only cursory interest in the sport. The interest for me in the poem is the culture of a type of man I either imaging or remember from childhood and my time in the north of England, hard working, frequently tired, often highly skilled and frequently desperate for a rest on a Sunday afternoon with the newspaper and with a sporting culture often extending towards fanaticism. It has its origins in a mind map prepared for a different poem based on a study of garage mechanics, still not written but past the conception stage. As a result, this poem is not an end to itself, and in some ways is a first draft of a different poem.
Although this is not a frequent occurrence, poems are sometimes spawned as a result of planning or writing a different poem. Sometimes a poem becomes too cumbersome or internally inconsistent and needs to be split, but that is not the case here. This is not a fragment from a longer work or a poem developed from another either as an edited, expanded or polished version. It is a totally different poem written from the same material, in this case a mind map. One of the benefits of keeping hold of initial, old or redundant material, which I keep in a file known as the "asylum", is that it is available for reflection and a resource for mining at a later date.

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