Sunday, 5 August 2012

Working Title

What an encouraging lot you all are. A number of you have suggested that I produce a book of poetry for children. I'll tell you what else you did. You made a little bell ring, somewhere at the back of my mind. And it didn't stop ringing until I dug out a draft I was working on back in 1984!


Here's a cropped scan of the cover, complete with a typically 'off the cuff' and badly scrawled working title, and one short verse.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that quite a bit of the material hasn't dated that much. That's to say, the world may have changed, but children still observe it with the same degree of clarity and frightening logic.

Three things have inspired me to give it a go. (a) Your enthusiasm for 'The Gap' (b) Rediscovering my old MS, and (c) A wonderful performance we saw at the Cambridge Festival, by Paul Cookson. His wonderfully funny book of poems for kids, Pants on Fire is a delight. His readings from it, had all of us laughing, not just the kids.

 Paul Cookson in full flight, at Cambridge, 2012

Here's another daft one I wrote 28 years ago, with an inspirational five year-old buzzing about the place.

Dad took his clothes off at the beach,
He turned all red and white.
He doesn't always look like that,
His trunks were just too tight.

20 comments:

  1. "Kids verses their World" - now there's a neat world play!

    Good luck! :-)

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  2. P.S.: I finally figured out why your template photo looked so familiar:André Kertész, "Newtown, Connecticut, 17 octobre 1959"
    It is the cover picture of his book "On Reading", a beautiful small hardcover edition by W. W. NORTON & COMPANY.

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  3. Merisi, thanks. And thanks for the link, too. My own effort was taken whilst we on holiday in 2011. It seems to fit the blog title quite well.

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  4. SW will love it, that's surely another reason to have a go.

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    1. And, she'll be one of the main sources of inspiration, of course.

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  5. Why are grown-ups grumpy,
    and parents always wrong?
    Why is porridge lumpy,
    and why'd they kill King Kong?

    Hey, this is easy. I might write some more.

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  6. They'll be lining up to illustrate poems like that.

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  7. No wonder I often have a headache - it's all that standing on my head :) Best of luck with the children's poetry - great idea!

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    1. Thanks Gabrielle. I keep you posted on progress made.

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  8. Wonderful stuff. Get it published Martin, I will put an advanced order in now.

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    1. I'm shelving all projects with the aim to have something I can submit to a publisher by the end of the summer.

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  9. I love reading poetry to the littluns - so I am also putting in an advance order :-) x

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    1. Thanks Teresa. I appreciate the support.

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  10. Well of course you can count me in.

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    1. Thanks Nell. You posed a question recently, that got me thinking...

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  11. Illustrations for your book? By Speckly Woo. Who else?
    I'll buy a copy too.

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    Replies
    1. Lynne, I'm plucking up the courage to ask her. But I'll need to go through her agent!

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  12. What a great idea! And of course SW should illustrate it.

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