Around eighteen months ago I dabbled at extending my literary boundaries by trying my hand at writing poetry. All very pompous and tongue in cheek stuff, delivered in an olde worlde style, some of which can be found on my website writesaidfred.org under the menu title of ‘Pretentious Prose’. https://strachan.blog/2017/06/24/pretentious-prose/
These pieces of work were deliberately ostentatious and self-indulgent sonnets that left no stone unturned in my aspirations to make the prose’s meaning a challenge to the reader. Although a flippant approach to penning poems, this was a mini project I enjoyed and, in my opinion, resulted in some half decent literary offerings.
Although not written to be taken too seriously, the review section of magazine Horse Manure Monthly deemed my poetic endeavours to be ‘Insightful….. The very antithesis of mainstream predictability churned out by many of Strachan’s literary contemporaries’.
Although as pretentious as the poems themselves, it certainly wasn’t the worse review I’ve ever received. That accolade going to online newspaper Cheesecloth Weekly’s assertion of “His blogs are so full of detritus they’re more like bogs.”
In my view the paper’s reviewer Ayrton Binks’ critique, made after he took exception to a section within my narrative ‘Cheesecloth is Shite’, was excessively confrontational. The vitriolic diatribe his retribution for my piece in which I mischievously opined cheesecloth lacked the textile integrity to be ever seriously classed as in vogue.
Fiercely defensive when it comes to the ‘bullying’ of cheesecloth, Binks is renowned as a bombastic man who habitually ruffles the peacock feathers of fashionistas in the hallowed halls of haute couture. His hostility born from their overt dismissal of his beloved textile, leading to his criticisms the fashion industry stank of institutional snobbery, cronyism and a penchant for “Talking out of their ring pieces!”
Like all people who are fortune enough to reside in a democracy, he’s welcome to openly air his opiniated bluster. Subsequently, if he feels the urge to do so, I accept his right to question my art.
That being said, I don’t subscribe to his negative and overly hostile approach to evaluating creative work. After all, as Austrian TV chef Horst Chestnut-Tree once proffered “We are nothing without the right to non-conformity, protest, freedom of speech and a decent soufflé recipe.”
I raised the topic of poetry writing earlier as I’m contemplating penning more prose in that genre. Agreed sonnets are an acquired taste – Their structure and content sometimes lending to more difficult interpretation of the prose. For many reading poems is an empty experience, one leaving the reader unfulfilled and bereft of the poet’s message.
On the autobiographical details I wrote on the back of the short book of poems I quilled called Prose in Repose, I wrote the following:-
Thankfully, the eighteen months since I self-published these compositions have seen my mother forgive my dabble into the murky world of sonnet creation. Although saying as I drive her for her weekly shop and maintain her garden she didn’t have much option!