Me and my lovely mum before she got poorly.
In July 2014 my lovely mum died. To help me fill the void my husband suggested I took an MA in Creative Writing. I’d completed a BA in 2013 via the Open University. My initial reaction was I didn’t want to do anything. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to write anymore. I didn’t know who I was. I felt like I’d lost my identity.
In September 2014 I came across a brand new MA Creative Writing course being run by Brighton University. This really grabbed my interest. I spoke to the course leader, sorted relevant paperwork, and within a few days I had an offer from the university to study the MA. I was going back to uni but this time a brick one.
My first trip down to the university was terribly tiring, walking to the station, changing trains at Brighton and then climbing the huge volume of steps at Falmer. To top it all it was pouring with rain. Thankfully I soon got used to the journey.
In my first year I took two modules, Rhetoric and Narrative, as they were both on Mondays, it made sense to save on train fare. For today’s blog I will concentrate on Narrative.
I really enjoyed Narrative. The remit was to complete a creative piece and perform a presentation. I’d never done a presentation in my life before so I was learning something new.
During the weekly seminars we were privileged to wonderful guest speakers including novelists such as Paul McVeigh and Matt Haig.
For my creative piece I opted to write poetry and produced a sequence of fictional poetry on ‘Lost Identity.’ I found this great therapy as in giving my characters pain it took some of it away from me. The presentation was conducted on a collaborative basis where we partnered up with another student. This was a great way to learn.
Completing narrative and writing the sequence of poetry was my first step to finding out who I was.
Today I will share one of the poems I wrote. ‘Recognition.’
‘Recognition’ has been previously published in Reach magazine and on Oapschat.
Black and white prints
cover creased hands.
Eyes narrow, dazed,
We slung satchels over knitted cardigans,
slammed the door,
grey pleated skirts hitched high above the knee.
We stood to attention at the bell,
split from my look-a-like,
a whistle insisted we march
into separate classrooms.
In the sixties we explored
rummaged antique stores,
picked up gold leafed books,
bought treasure boxes
to hide shared secrets.
We sank into striped deckchairs,
flipped off our tops to reveal
plastic sunglasses concealed our faces.
We lazed by gull-grey waves,
pebbles chattered at our feet.
We sniffed salt from the sea,
cardboard cones on our noses,
read Jackie in the sun.
A transistor radio blurred Cathy’s
Clown, from the Top Ten charts.
I sit by the iron framed bed,
wait for a flicker of recognition.
blasts from the box
high on the wall
Lillie looks up,
whispers my name.
‘Freddie – The Twist.
you and me that day
down in Brighton.’
Next blog – MA Journey Part 2 will be on Rhetoric – watch this space.