A (very) short poem I wrote whilst relaxing today..
A (very) short poem I wrote whilst relaxing today..
A clue to one of the main themes of my fourth and most recent novel (published May this year) lies in the title: Objectification.
I’d say the seeds of this novel were sown in the ‘Noughties’ when my Inner Prude grew increasingly discomforted by the apparent creeping of porn culture into mainstream media. A little open-mouthed at the Music channels on TV which attracted a young audience, she sighed at the idolisation of a Page Three alumna turned role-model of young girls, felt let down when Dr Who’s ex-assistant played a call girl, based on a real-life postgraduate student spinning yarns and money, who justified selling sex as an ‘economic necessity’ (setting a precedent?) All above the watershed? Then came the Disney Girl Next Door wearing her genitalia on her sleeve so to speak, to name another of many influences, which include documentaries such as the one which featured a septuagenarian grandmother getting in on The Game, selfies and the rise of sexting. I could go on and on.
In 2014 when I began to work seriously on the novel, my goal, and greatest challenge, was to find out as much as I could about the nature of, influences on, and attitudes towards our ‘hyper-sexualised, so-called ‘Porn Culture’, and its normalisation and sanitisation, without resorting to porn itself. There was plenty out there to get my teeth into. Articles, videos, documentaries, recorded interviews, fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, academic and journalistic research; anti-porn, sex-positive, feminist, conservative, informative, educational. I wanted context, and it was a long time before I felt ready to tackle it.
Why? It was hard-going. It was not an area I could approach coyly. My Primcess Inner Prude (Pip for short) was rattled. I had to bat her down a lot. But how was I going to deal with my material in a balanced and candid way without slipping into salacious or censorious tones? How would I bring in beauty, fun, humanity and humour? In the end I persevered and I’m glad I did. I overcame my fear of disapproval, the idea that dealing with this kind of dirt wasn’t nice; best swept under a glamorous rug. It isn’t nice, and whilst I believe that every generation has its own challenges to work through, and that most young people do find a healthy balance in popular culture, I believe we help protect them and progress by shedding light on and questioning darker influences. When is it wise to ignore bad behaviour or call it out?
Which brings me to the phenomena of Weinstein (once described as “wonderful” by Michelle Obama, a “God” by Meryl Streep) and others with a similar predatory mindset; rich and powerful men who have found they can no longer prey on women with impunity. Their behaviour cannot be separated from the culture they operate in. It was the responses of the Hollywood and wider community which brought to my mind the process of my novel. We move forward when we take responsibility for the ills of society with courage, compassion and honesty. That is why I am optimistic that the whistle-blowing on Weinstein and men of his ilk (without witch-hunting) heralds a change for the better.
‘Tongue-in-cheek’ poem inspired by the Poetry Day theme and my frustration with the extremist behaviour of the political far right and left.
Nothing raises radical hackles
More than those in moral shackles
Making the choice to remain bereft
Of lessons in what’s right – that’s left.
Constitutionally, speech is free,
That’s if with eye to eye you see,
And even free-thinkers agree
With their ideal of democracy.
Be civil; move forth in peace and love,
Hawks in the feathers of a dove.
Cover heads, mouths, leave holes for an eye
For an eye. Be-masked, smile or die.
And fake it until you make it.
Make up news if the truth does not fit
Your own, when the narrative harms
The Cause: ‘Come into, take up our arms.’
Speak up, shout out so all will hear
This message of love haters fear.
In their faces bring them to their knees,
Drown the crackle of scorched olive trees.
The swamp will ever fail to drain
When many crocodile tears sustain
The rich rot, and gas, smoke and fire
Will keep them flowing into the mire.
Good news – if you go too far either way,
No Free World edges to fall over today;
You may go round in circles, imprisoned
In the orbit of your hard-rocky vision.
As usual I still have that ‘waiting for summer to happen’ feeling, then the first sweet smells of damp decay hit me, and I can’t deny it anymore. Here’s a poem I wrote a long time ago:
Game Bird in Autumn
Watch the rocking-fool gait
Of cock-pheasant; his heart is proud.
Feathers of permanent burnish,
Stained by the essence of Autumn,
Aeons ago, with the sunset.
They are shooting again,
Out there, in the skeleton woods.
I do not want to bite the bullet.
At night I hear owls call out to darkness
Over bones creaking in hollows.
©2011 Pamela Turton
“When I read poetry
I want to feel myself
Tribute to Mark Strand by Anthony Wilson
I am sad because the great American poet Mark Strand has died.
Among the tributes to him in the last few days was this, from an interview with The Paris Review: The Art of Poetry No 77 (1998).
The words belong to Strand. I have merely reshaped them on the page.
When I read poetry
I want to feel myself
in touch with –
or at least close to –
what I deem magical,
I want to experience
a kind of wonderment.
And when you report back
to your own daily world
after experiencing the strangeness
of a world sort of recombined
and reordered in the depths
of a poet’s soul,
the world looks fresher somehow.
Your daily world
has been taken out of context.
It has the voice of the poet
written all over it,
for one thing,
but it also seems suddenly more alive…
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I’m just over halfway through writing my novel and the whole process reminds me of the one time I went on a diet. I started it on the Monday morning, which is of course the Law of Diets, and by Tue…
Taking the P out of Pirates (a pirate is a pirate is..a taste of their own rum and all that?)
I saw the other day a post about book piracy in Anastacia Moore’s blog. She was rightly fuming, because, while checking out her video trailers, she noticed that someone was advertising on You Tube a link to receive free copies of said books.
A few days before that, my friend N.N. Light had kindly emailed me to let me know that she had found her book, “Princess of the Light” on a similar website, and that she had seen my work there as well.
Then came the news that Australia’s Copyright Agency has welcomed a decision by the British High Court requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites hosting millions of pirated e-book titles. The decision means Britain’s five major ISPs – BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE – will be asked to block seven offshore-hosted websites within 10 working days.
The sites – AvaxHome…
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For National Kissing Day, nice..Mwah!
I went scouring the Internet for Shakespearean quotes about kissing. Why, though, did I have to scour? Shouldn’t there have already been a compiled list of the best ones? Yet, I didn’t find such a list. I’m sure someone out there on the vast interwebs has put together the top kiss quotes by Will, but it didn’t come up on the first page of my Google search, which is ridiculous. I’m going to rectify that problem right now.
Note: I double-checked the quotes against my copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare, but call me out if I made a boo boo somewhere.
1. Twelfth Night, Act 2, scene 3, said by Feste:
“In delay there lies no plenty.
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty;
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.”
Feste, the fool, is singing a song that mocks the young lovers of the play, pointing out…
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Re-blogging this lovely post to celebrate the birthday of Sebastian Faulks, the author of the wonderful novel, ‘Birdsong’
It was completely by mistake that I started reading Birdsong right before Veterans Day, and I am very happy it happened. It’s sad to report that I didn’t even know what this novel was about, I simply had it on order from my library, and it showed up. This novel is beautiful, horrific, and incredibly sensual.
While the majority of the book makes sense, time-line wise; I was surprised to be wrenched out of the war in 1914 to England in 1978. Elizabeth, a relative of one of the soldiers in 1914 is a well written character, and has some disturbing similarities to myself.
She liked living alone, she liked being alone. She ate what she wanted, not proper meals but plates of mushrooms and baked potatoes, grapes, peaches, or soups she made herself. She filled glasses with ice cubes and lemon slices, then poured gin over them, hearing the explosion of…
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As my novels tend to dabble in the psychology of moral issues, this good article by Dylan Hearn really grabbed my attention.
One of the things I enjoy most about writing is exploring morality. At its most basic level, morality is just a question of right and wrong. It’s a black and white issue. Take theft, for example. The definition of theft is:
The dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession
Not many of us would disagree that theft is wrong, but is it always wrong?
A young woman is caught stealing from a store. Theft is wrong and she should be punished. But what if it was food she was stealing for her hungry children? Is it still wrong? What if she had recently lost her job and had no way of feeding her children? What if the job she’d lost was at the store and the sore owner owed her a month’s…
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