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Dream Catcher 48 - Stone Hannah

Dream Catcher 48 - Stone Hannah

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There's nothing like the creative process of sequencing an issue of Dream Catcher to send me down all sorts of rabbit holes - and, a bit like any burrowing animal, I emerge after an hour or so in a completely different part of the warren from where I entered. I start with a cup of coffee, take it into the garden where I get snagged on bindweed, and sniffed at by dogs; I wait for my lover to discover how beautiful the constellations of my moles are; decide to have a game of scrabble, and then get distracted by a fresh pack of cards; I bump into priests, dolphins, students; dodge floods and bees, and come back out again, and wonder why it has gone dark (it's an afternoon in late November, dufus).

Then there's the perennial question of What It all Means and How It Should Happen. With prose it seems relatively straightforward. With poetry - who knows? Should it start from emotions, ideas, experiences, or the words themselves? It's no use trying to find a consensus from poets themselves, as we/they all have/had different ideas. Regardless of the juxtaposition I end up creating from your contributions, you are, of course, as readers free to pick your own route through the melée. And whether or not you feel a poem should have responsibilities (as if is lining up to be ticked off in some attendance register of civic duties), I'm sure that it's fruitful to follow Dylan Thomas's assertion in his Poetry Manifesto that 'the best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps in the works of the poem so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in.' 

For weeks now, one line from an Auden poem has been clinging on to me - 'we must love one another or die.' It's from his poem 'September 1, 1939,' written on the brink of a global war which is now in the living memory of only a few people. Sadly today's wars are all the more present because of mass media - and will echo in our memories long after they cease. Excavating the Auden poem I was fascinated to learn that he hated this line, felt really ashamed of the poem which he felt was too glib, too facile. He suppressed it as much as possible, and when he did allow it to be published he amended it to 'we must love one another and die.' Earlier in the poem are lines which speak to me, today, about what we as writers can do in the face of atrocity, to remember that:

'All I have is a voice

To undo the folded lie.'

And that took me to Pablo Neruda: 'Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.'

Poets, story tellers - please keep making bread. And send your loaves to us for inclusion in Dream Catcher.

This month the art is by York artist Richard Moulton

EAN: 9781913432881
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Stone Hannah
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