in Wandsworth

Battersea Poems

SW Literary Festival ProgrammeThe launch of the SW11 Literary Festival takes place tomorrow night, which made me think it’s probably a good time to highlight Battersea Poems again.

Taking the text directly from the literary festival programme:

Text in your poem and be part of creating a biography of SW11 written by you, the people who live, work and visit Battersea.

Start a text message with Battersea then a space, then your poem, in one text only, and send it to 07786 202 844.

Take the people, places, and history of Battersea as your inspiration, but your poem doesn’t have to be about SW11, so a poem inspired by Clapham Junction might be about a journey…

You can submit as many poems as you like. Your poem will be published instantly on: www.thumbprintcity.com/london/battersea

The best Battersea Poems will then be selected by a panel led by Apples and Snakes to be published in a printed anthology.

Sending a poem only costs the same as sending a normal text to your friend’s phone. You will not be signed up for anything, ever.

Competition closes 31/10/09

There are already some great poems on there. One of my favourites is:

Summer in battersea park
picnics and cricket
and two names in bark.

I’m going to pretend I know what I’m talking about and say I like it because it’s short and simple – and paints a vivid picture with the cricket match on the wider scale but the two names (which begs further questions, whose, when, why?) adding a little element of human detail.

I probably shouldn’t have identified it as a one I liked because I’m part of the panel… but I’ll try and balance things by saying that, of course, my fondness for the imagery is exactly balanced by my concern that the poem may be glamorising vandalism to a Battersea Park tree.

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  1. I’d be happy to call it a haiku.

    Summer in battersea park

    picnics and cricket

    and two names in bark.

    It has a strong seasonal reference, although we don’t need the season mentioned by name because picnics and cricket place it in Summer so well.

    As haiku aren’t 575 constructs in English, only Japanese, this works well as we have the first two lines as a phrase giving us a great general picture, and then we zoom into a specific close up image.

    I haven’t heard an update about the book, is it now in print?

    Alan, With Words
    http://www.withwords.org.uk