Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Plays on Words

I was reading in Poetry magazine about a competition for a verse drama, to help revitalise this particular art. I've been quietly interested in this form for a while, perhaps inevitably, as someone who writes poetry and drama, and is consistently interested in narrative. I've been reading Christopher Logue's Homer, Goethe's Faust (in English, Jarrell's version) and keep returning to Eliot's Sweeney Agonistes. It's always the great anomaly of English literature that our preeminent writer, Shakespeare, was a poetic dramatist. Every now and then someone has a go at something - I've been impressed by Simon Armitage's multimedia attempts - and it seems a worthy thing to attempt. I've had a drama idea for several years, which I'll keep for myself for now, which I long ago realised would be best done as a verse drama. I've gone back to my notes, and found that the structure I'd begun in 2004, has a lot going for it. The writing is another thing - but I'm finding it a fascinating challenge, albeit a big one. I think I'll complete the first act and see what comes from that. I do have form here; I wrote one a few years ago, a Mummers style rewriting of a story I'd written, but got somewhat perplexed responses from the playwriting competitions/services I sent it to. Maybe I have to approach this from the poetry end?

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