Poetry Notebook

"Boyle Abbey" by M.A.H. Hinton

“Boyle Abbey” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

Awhile ago when I began experimenting with sketching, I also began writing by hand (rather than  typing) notes and rough drafts of poems. A habit I had gotten away from years ago.

At a suggestion a year ago from my wife to keep a sketch notebook of our trip to Netherlands and Germany, I tried to both journal and sketch my trip. Journaling that trip to Netherlands and Germany was not a successful experiment.

Preparing for our trip to Ireland this year, I thought I would try again. As part of it, I made for myself a list of poems by Yeats, Kavanaugh, and Heaney to be read at specific places: Coole Park, Thoor Ballyee, Drumcliffe Churchyard, Sligo, Dublin, Innikeen, Bellaghy. Poems that centered around place.

It began to look like this:

page from M.A.H. Hinton's "Poetry Notebook"

“Poetry Notebook” (by m.a.h. hinton)

In the process I was reminded of the importance of place in poetry, in my own poetry and in many of the poems I love best.

The places where we live seep into our sub-conscious, into our heart’s heart. They become the way we see, experience, and express our lives and loves in this “marred and clumsy” world. For the poet, place provides:

  • Perspective
  • Sound
  • Space
  • Music
  • Voice
  • Rhythm

In the end, it can be said that place is poetry and poetry is place.



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