Fred is reliably informed that today is National Poetry Day. Yes! That day when we can all stake a claim to living, breathing and just being the language of all those greats who, through the ages, filtered or fuddled meaning from the course of the everyday and wrote it down in a way quite like no other could, can or will. Teachers pontificate to their students that we’re all poets deep down, we’ve all got a story to tell, you’ve just got to open your mind and be creative. And so, up and down the land, trees are cut down, the wood is pulped, the pulp is dried, processed, retailed and eventually written on. Fortunately, as folk become more conscious of their compartmentalised bins, there is a greater chance now than at any other point in history that their daubed-on paper will actually be put to good use, before eventually finding its way to the sea. Toilet roll is my first thought here.
And so, without further ado, let me unveil to you Fred’s Five-Point Poetry Day Plan:
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Go on!
- You feel that? You’ve just breathed in the same air as that which William Shakespeare did, this very day, albeit 400 years ago!
- Inspiration gained. Now think of something really sententious. Pretentious will do. As long as it’s pretty short. In fact, let’s say five syllables. Struggling? OK, let’s make this a bit easier. You can count the syllables on your fingers if needs be.
- Got something but not sure it’s all that? Don’t panic! Have another go at a five syllable one. People tend to get a seven quite easily, but those fives sure are tricky.
- OK, we’re there. Stick the five on top, whack the seven in the middle, and place the second lot of five on the bottom. No, it’s not a syllable sandwich; it’s your very own haiku, and you your very own poet!
Here ends the Five-Point Plan. If you’re feeling really good, go and share your wares! People will really warm to you. But whatever you do, make sure you put the recycling out for Monday morning.