The Razor Blade in the Peach

On the cover of Fleur Adcock’s Poems 1960 – 2000, there’s a brilliant quote from Carol Ann Duffy on Adcock:

“Adcock has a deceptively laid-back tone, through which the sharper edge of her talent is encountered like a razor blade in a peach.”

This quote has really lingered. When it comes to expressing thoughts or feelings, it’s emphasised the need for delivering a punch in writing. It doesn’t have to be an emotional punch, it doesn’t have to be a ‘twist’, but it does have to deliver some form of substance, and this quote summarises it perfectly. Of course, the roles can be reversed. There’s poetry riddled with sharp blades upon reading but underneath it all lies a soft, sweet kiwi (the fruit – not the bird!). Ultimately, poetry has to give you something new, something you’ve not read before, for it to stick. It must surprise in some way.

This might just be me – there’s this feeling you get when a poem clicks with you. I’m not sure it’s entirely describable but it makes you feel like this: ‘Woah.’ For some it might be different. It might leave you in silence, it might leave your mouth hanging, it might leave you screaming and jumping up and down. Nonetheless, if you know what I mean, it’s amazing how poetry can do that. Here are some examples of where this happened, for me anyway: Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney, On A Wedding Anniversary by Dylan Thomas and, appropriately, For Meg by Fleur Adock.

(If you’re interested in the reverse, the kiwi in the ball of blades idea, I’d recommend Vultures by Chinua Achebe, even though it’s quite morbid!).

The first Nesbit and Gibley book of poetry (the title still being kept a secret – for now!) is currently in the beta-reading stage. Quite a few people have their hands on copies and (hopefully!) enjoying them as we speak. This is very much necessary, as anyone who has written in silence for so long will know what it’s like to have ‘blinker vision’ – writing breathes with the fresh perspective. So, if you’re still interested, the book is very much on its way!

I think Duffy describes how exciting poetry can be in such a simple manner, and that aspect of writing has really stuck with me when putting the book together. There’s a lot of great advice out there but this has definitely stuck with me the longest – like a razor-blade, it’s left my gums still sore and scarred months after eating.

The Announcement

As most of you know, today is National Poetry Day. It’s been a pleasure to read through the shared poets and their poetry, to finding new writers and learning of their ideas and lives. You can never have enough!

In this poetry light comes this post. A few days ago, we mentioned there would be a little announcement. Over the past year, there’s been a project underway and we’d like to confirm a Nesbit and Gibley poetry collection is in the works!

The book will contain mostly original pieces. These won’t be shared on the blog, nor on any other site, not ever. If you’ve enjoyed what we’ve done and would like to support the website (and if you like a little exclusivity!), this book is for you. The book will also include a small selection from the site.

It’s been quite the dream to produce something real. Having the website, the amazing followers and the incredible feedback, has been life-changing. The community is brilliant and it’s the vast amount of talented writers we follow who inspire us to write ourselves. However, having something to hold in your hands, something for the bookshelf or the coffee table, would complete our poetry experience.

Of course, there’ll hopefully be a Kindle edition to all those electronic users!

More details to come over the next few weeks. The book title and cover we’ll keep secret, just for a little while, until they’re both finalised.

If you’re interested, watch this space! Thank you for reading and happy National Poetry Day!

Until the next one,

Nesbit and Gibley