Poem Incorporating Text From Tracey Emin’s Neon Signs

This poem came from a free writing (or timed writing) exercise where I found a few phrases from Emin’s gorgeous neon sign series and we wrote from a phrase and had to include a couple of others. Free writing means exactly that you have to write solidly for five minutes and just let go try not to control it or put in line breaks or anything. I often get poems this way that with a bit of shaping work. The starter phrase was ”I fell in love here” others used were ”Angel without you” and ”I loved you like a distant star”.  I was also thinking of one of her articles where she talks about how making art is sometimes difficult something I completely understand I hope I have stopped stopping myself writing but you can never tell when the fear of making bad poetry will come back and curtail my poems.


I fell in love here with Manchester

I traipsed this stretch to Whitworth park

recently from a field in Norfolk

I was thirsty for greenery

I was compelled to come and sit there

then wander the gallery

the abundance of art was dizzying

I am still awed by all the art here

the theatres and the music and poetry

how could you not love Manchester?

its creative spill, its grand structures

its statues of elderly monarchs

I fell in love here with the possibilities

of a big city with poetry over and over

an anchor of my life growing as large

as the one I saw on Arran leaning

against the wall of a house covering it

in that old priests room behind the Holy Name church

rolling up those ludicrous ballroom like stairs

drunk on free exhibition wine and poetry

an angel without you

could hope for angelic poetry could face it then,

my small stunted poems that I had to wring out of my pen

the thought of such smallness of language is baffling now

still I persevered I loved poetry like a distant star


About Quad

The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.
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One Response to Poem Incorporating Text From Tracey Emin’s Neon Signs

  1. Pingback: My impossible leg…Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin & Cornelia Parker | Stirred Poetry's Blog

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