Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Conceit

Gilding the Acrobats
Paul Cadmus, Gilding the Acrobats(Metropolitan Museum)

I'm pleased to announce that participants can now sign up here for my first on-line workshop with The Poetry School, on the subject of 'The Conceit'.

Some poetry takes everyday reality as its starting-point in order to reveal something about the world we know. But poetry can equally begin with a ‘what if?’ – it can create unreal or unlikely situations and then, by exploring the consequences of those situations, lead us to unexpected ideas and images.

These ‘what if?’ situations could be described as ‘conceits’ – extended metaphors that bring together disparate ideas, making the poem a kind of literary test-tube.

In this workshop, I'll be helping participants to explore how conceits can be used to open up our writing to new ways of imagining, while still remaining rooted in a concern for our human experience of the world. We will think about how the use of conceits can draw in the reader, hold their attention, and keep surprising them until the very end of the poem.

The workshop is free, but places are limited -- so sign up soon if you are interested. The workshop begins on 1 February 2016, and there will be a live chat on 12 February. I'm intrigued to see what people will create!

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