NaPoWriMo Day 30: Pete Goodrum – Poetry

It’s the final day of NaPoWriMo. Congratulations if you’ve been keeping up every day but hopefully you’ve at least enjoyed writing and listening to some great poems – and there’s one more to go. Pete Goodrum returns to share a prompt you will definitely have something to say about after the last month…

I’d like you to write a poem about… Poetry. If you’re interested in poetry, take some time to think about what you think about poetry.

Think about poetry itself. Think about how to construct a poem about poetry. Will it rhyme? Will it be in particular poetic form. What message are you trying to convey?

I wrote this poem after I witnessed some unexpected and very sceptical visitors to a poetry night be completely won over by an open mic session.

Let’s be honest.

Let’s at last be honest.
You never really liked me, let alone loved me.

Yes, there were moments, in your teens
when you thought it good to have me around.
You showed off about knowing me,
even sometimes used my words to impress others,
but it soon faded.

In fact, and I hate to raise it,
but you rubbished me, told the world,
or your world at least,
that I had no place, no use,
and that you had no need of me.

Except of course, now and then,
with women more than men
you’d try not to hide
your sensitive side
and you’d touch some hearts
with the romantic parts
because after all
that’s all you recall.
The easy bits
the cheesey bits.

And then I was forgotten again.
Until you needed me.
You’d call on me at weddings of course.
Yes, I was useful for those.
Even at christenings you’d search me out
to add a touching note.

Oh, and funerals. Yes, you wanted me then.
You’ve summonsed me to attend,
to be there, at the end,
to play my part
to help you explain your breaking heart.

But in all the years in between
as I’ve changed and grown,
when I’ve ranted and excited,
inspired and delighted
loved and detested
expressed and protested –

Through all of that, you’ve ignored me.

But I’ve never gone away.

I’m here.
Remember me now?
Yes, that’s right.
Whisper it.

I’m poetry.

Pete Goodrum

You can find out more about Pete’s work and various publications here.

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Books by many of the poets featured on the podcast are available from the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop here. All books purchased via this link help to raise money to keep this podcast going.

Episode 39: Pete Goodrum – A Point of View

Pete Goodrum, poet and lifelong resident of Norwich, reads poems inspired by his city and invites listeners to write about places in their neighbourhood or hometown. 
He also talks about his long and varied writing career and what he has learnt along the way.

Pete’s writing from a different angle exercise

Pete says: “There’s the old adage that you should ‘write what know’ but I’m saying try to write a poem about somewhere you know but looked at in a different way. From a different angle. My ‘Market’ has everyday details amplified and the awnings become a duvet as it sleeps. My ‘City Hall’ is literally looking at the place from a different angle – the back – and in doing so allows the rear view to become not only a new look at the place but a metaphor for the gap between civic ceremony and governance, and the grim realities of ordinary life. It’s not a poem of dissatisfaction or rebellion – it’s observation.

“So, go to a place you know and  create a poem about it viewed  from a different angle, seen in another perspective. Lift it out of its setting to make a point beyond pure description.”

You can hear how Patrick used Google Maps to write an original poem about his neighbourhood on the podcast, along with Pete’s poems for inspiration.

Please send your poems here for the chance to be featured on the blog or podcast. We look forward to seeing what you’ve written.

You can find out more about Pete’s work and various publications here.

Books by many of the poets featured on the podcast are available from the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop here. All books purchased via this link help to raise money to keep this podcast going.

Pete Goodrum – A Marriage Through a Window

Pete Goodrum is a lifelong resident of Norwich with a passion for the city. Here is a poem from a set inspired by Norwich called City. You can hear him on the next podcast reading more poems and chatting about his varied writing career.

A Marriage Through a Window

The streamers and balloons were the obvious sign
that they were coming back, from honeymoon.

On autumn Saturdays the evening backlit windows
projected the parties. Sunday morning
bottles by the door and late drawn blinds said it all.

That first Christmas. The calmer gatherings as parents
visited. By spring one or other father was called on
to mow the front lawn as holidays abroad
became part of the new rituals.

A kitten appeared. Soon came the baby,
and the change in the rooms; piles of plastic toys
violating the holy beige of carpets.

There were women, and wine, in the afternoons
as she bonded with other mothers.
He arrived home later in the evenings,
and the weekend windows seldom showed much more

than the large tv screen and pizza boxes.
Most of the lights went out earlier now,
except sometimes the one by the side door that showed him,
late at night, with a cigarette and his ‘phone.

He comes by at weekends now. He drives a sports car,
and doesn’t stay. He looks worried.Torn somehow.
She has a four by four which she never seems to drive.
She stops smiling when he arrives.

Nobody hears them speak. Except once.
They were arguing, in the garden,
in front of the FOR SALE board

Pete Goodrum