I've been idling on the theme of ‘Take Me Home’, the Abridged call out that just closed today, for the most of the month of March. I don’t write to a theme very often, although I have written in response to images and to other poems now and again. Now that I think about it I have written poems ‘to order’ for births, birthdays, for my brother’s wedding and to commemorate a dear friend and that’s similar I suppose. Still for those ‘public’ poems there are responsibilities and parameters inside of which I need to find a hook, an image or other access point to the theme. It’s a real challenge then to say something true to myself at the same time.
It shouldn't be that hard to write to a theme; I expect my students to do it and they do. My husband John's working to a brief all the time, managing to satisfy not just the client and planner but his own creative impulse too. Carol Ann Duffy never ceases to impress me, not least by her ability to write to themes as diverse as the Hillsborough tragedy and Richard III. If you haven’t read her poem Richard written for the re-interment of his remains at Leicester Cathedral last week and read by Benedict Cumberbatch, then do so here.