Tag Archives: the selected poems of k morris

My “Selected Poems” will soon be available in Braille from RNIB

On 23 August 2019, I announced that my “Selected Poems” is available for purchase in the Amazon Kindle store, https://kmorrispoet.com/2019/08/23/my-selected-poems-is-now-available-for-purchase-in-the-kindle-store/. And soon afterwards my book became available in paperback.

Yesterday (14 November), I received an email from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) informing me that “The Selected Poems of K Morris” will be available in braille in the next couple of weeks. As someone who is registered blind and unable to read print, I am, of course delighted that I will soon own a braille copy of my book, and that other braille users will be able to read my “Selected Poems”.

2 previous collections of mine, (“Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” and “My Old Clock I Wind”) are also available to purchase in both Kindle and braille formats. For “Lost” please visit https://kmorrispoet.com/2017/07/21/lost-in-the-labyrinth-of-my-mind-is-available-to-purchase-in-braille-from-rnib/, and for “my Old Clock” please go to https://kmorrispoet.com/2017/08/09/my-old-clock-i-wind-and-other-poems-is-available-in-braille-from-rnib/.

As a child, I learned to read braille from an early age and still own quite a braille library, ranging from “The New Oxford Book of English Verse” to Poe’s “Tales of Mystery and Imagination”. I am pleased that “My Selected Poems” will soon join my collection of books in braille.

For anyone unfamiliar with braille and who is interested in learning more, you can do so by visiting this link, https://www.rnib.org.uk/braille-and-other-tactile-codes-portal-braille-past-present-and-future/invention-braille.

Sometimes Brevity is King

I have long been an admirer of those who can express themselves well in short verse. Consequently I was interested when I came across 7 Poems, an Alexa skill, which provides the user of an Amazon Echo with access to 7 poems from the book Text Messages, by Andrew Wilson, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Studio-for-Co-operation-Seven-Poems/dp/B07GZT6DVK/.

I was impressed with the poems showcased in the above free Alexa skill, and will be purchasing Wilson’s book Text Messages.

My love for the short poem began, I believe with my reading of Ernest Dowson’s “They are not long, the weeping and the laughter” which runs thus:

“They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream”.

Life is indeed brief and the brevity of Dowson’s poem serves to underline this fact. It is, of course true that there have been many fine long poems written on the subject of mortality. Take, for example Keats “Ode to a Nightingale” which is, incidentally one of my favourite poems.

Keats produced a wonderful meditation on mortality, suicide and beauty and his ode does, to my mind contain not one extraneous word. I have, however read other poems where I have thought that (had the poem been briefer) it would have been more impactful. Dowson’s “They are not Long” certainly does not suffer from being long winded, and his verses undoubtedly pack a powerful punch.

Many (but by no means all) of my own poems are brief in nature. Take, for example my poem Summer, which runs as follows:

“Summer unlocks
Youthful passion.
Now ’tis the fashion
For short frocks
And tiny socks.
Some girls barefoot go;
For, of a summer’s day,
They little know
That winter snow
Is on its way.”

Only my readers can say whether the above poem conveys (in 10 lines) what the poet wished to convey, and, if so whether his message is well expressed in so brief a space. As the poet, I believe that I said all I wished to convey in 10 lines. Had I said more I would have been guilty of the sin of waffle, and heaven preserve us from wafflers! But, in the final analysis its all in the interpretation of my readers.

In conclusion, there is, I believe a place for both short and longer poems. If something can be expressed briefly and with impact then there is, in my opinion no point in spinning out the word count. Indeed doing so will merely weary the reader and turn an otherwise potentially good (even great) poem, into a mediocre or poor piece of writing. Some things are, however better expressed at greater length, as is the case with Keats “Nightingale”.

My poem Summer can be found in my Selected Poems, which is available in paperback and e-book format from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07WW8WXPP/ (for the UK, and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WW8WXPP/. (for the US and elsewhere).

The Bell of Amherst – how best to enjoy the poetry of Emily Dickinson

I have long been an admirer of Emily Dickinson’s work, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Dickinson. My first recollection of having encountered her poetry was as a child whilst listening to Poetry Please! on BBC Radio 4. I remember being fascinated by a rendering of Dickinson’s fine poem “As I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me”, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47652/because-i-could-not-stop-for-death-479.

I frequently return to Emily’s work, and the bookcase in my bedroom contains 2 substancial braille volumes of her poetry. Given the pleasure I derive from her poetry, I was pleased to find that Amazon offers a free Alexa skill enabling owners of the Amazon Echo to listen to the poetry of Emily Dickinson, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Norton-The-Belle-Amherst/dp/B06XNM6GR9, and being an Echo owner I enabled The Bell of Amherst yesterday evening.

On opening The Bell of Amherst, the Echo user is asked whether they would like “The Bell” to read a poem. On answering “yes, a poem is voiced by Alexa and the app closes. If you wish to hear another poem its necessary to open The Bell again and request that Alexa read another Dickinson poem.

Whilst The Bell of Amherst provides those with access to an Amazon Echo with the opportunity to listen to the poetry of Emily Dickinson, I find the robotic voice of Alexa distracting and would prefer that the poems are read by actors of the human kind, as is the case with the My Poems Alexa skill, which I reviewed on 31 October, https://kmorrispoet.com/2019/10/31/my-review-of-my-poems-an-alexa-skill-enabling-the-amazon-echo-user-to-listen-to-poetry/.

The fact that one has to re-open The Bell each time one wishes to hear a poem is also irritating. Again I would prefer that the Bell followed the same practice as My Poems whereby the user is given the opportunity to hear another poem, rather than the app shutting down on him/her once a single poem has been read.

In brief, I wouldn’t recommend The Bell of Amherst as a means of enjoying the verse of Emily Dickinson. I would suggest obtaining one of the many printed collections of her poetry as an alternative to The Bell of Amherst.

As an aside, I was delighted when, in response to a recent review of my Selected Poems, a reader of that review commented as follows:
“His poem about the grim reaper reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s “because I could not stop for death He kindly stopped for me.” Thanks for letting his read some of his poems.”
The poem to which the commenter refers is my poem entitled “Time”. You can find the review of The Selected Poems of K Morris (together with the above quoted comment) here, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/bookreview-poetry-the-selected-poems-of-k-morris/.

Kevin

Poet Kevin Morris holding a copy of his recently published Selected Poems.

My thanks to my friend Shanelle for taking the below photographs, which show me holding a copy of my recently released Selected Poems. For anyone who is visually impaired, the front cover shows a close up image of bluebells in Spa Woods, a wooded area close to the poets home in Upper Norwood. Spa Woods was once part of The Great North Wood, and contains many ancient oaks. The back cover is also shown, and displays a picture of the poet at the entrance to Spa Woods, close to an historic house.

The Selected Poems of K Morris are available in ebook and Paperback here for the UK and here for the US.

 

A Case of Mistaken Identity

A few days back, I received an email from a lady saying how nice it had been to meet me, expressing thanks for looking at her poems and asking if I could please provide her with the telephone number of a MS S. We had, she said met in a pub called The Bull.

All of this was delightful. However, I have no recollection whatsoever of having met the lady in question. I don’t frequent a pub called The Bull and I am not acquainted with MS s!

On receving the email, I had a moment of doubt. Had I, suffered a memory loss, or been in some third dimention! A few seconds thought led to the obvious conclusion that the lady had emailed me in error. She had, I assume met with another poet and wishing to ascertain Ms S’s number had searched online for the poet in question. However, rather than finding her acquaintence she had found one K Morris Poet online, namely myself!

I sent a polite response to my correspondent saying that she had emailed me by mistake and wishing her well with her poems, and that was the end of the matter save for a brief email from the lady apologising for her mistake.

This is not the first time that I have been mistaken for someone other than myself. I have been asked whether I played the piano in a pub I have never drunk in, and been asked if I used to live in an area with which I am unfamiliar. Perhaps I have a long lost twin of whom I am wholly unaware!

Whilst I have never propped up the bar in The Bull, I have, for many years enjoyed the convivial atmosphere in The Railway Bell, https://www.rampubcompany.co.uk/visit-pubs/railway-bell. The Bell has an unofficial lending library where customers can leave books and borrow those left by others. I am delighted that several of my books are on the shelves (you can see my “selected Poems” in the photograph below).

Kevin

Celebrate National Poetry Day

Today (3 October) is National Poetry Day here in the United Kingdom. This years theme is truth, although you can write about anything, https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/celebrate-national-poetry-day/.

To celebrate National Poetry Day I am publishing my poem “Shadows On The Wall”:

“Shadows on the wall,

I recall.

One cannot catch a shade,

For it is made

Of moonbeams

And passing dreams”.

“Shadows On The Wall” can be found in “The Selected Poems of K Morris”, which is available in paperback and Kindle formats here, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07WW8WXPP/.

If you wish to share a poem you can use the hashtag #NationalPoetryDay.

Of Book Signings and Ebooks

As an author, I derive great pleasure from providing family, friends and other readers with signed copies of my paperback books. Indeed, over the last week or so, I have mailed 3 copies of my recently released “Selected Poems”, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Selected-Poems-K-Morris/dp/1688049800, and furnished 3 signed copies to friends face-to-face.

In addition to my squashed spider of a signature, each book contains a personalised message. Its wonderful to receive the heartfelt messages of thanks and to know that a reader will have a physical copy of my “Selected Poems” on their bookshelves to enjoy for years to come.

Whilst I can not envisage the demise of physical books (either paperback or hardback) as many people, including me love to hold a real book in their hands, the growth in ebooks has driven the development of solutions enabling authors to sign electronic copies of their books. See, for example this article, https://selfpublishingadvice.org/book-marketing-tip-how-to-offer-signed-books-at-low-cost/.

I haven’t used Authorgraph (one of the solutions mentioned in the above article). However the ability to sign ebooks opens up new possibilities for both readers and authors. No longer does a UK author need to send a signed (physical) copy of his/her book halfway around the world by post, as he/she can sign an electronic book remotely. Of course many readers will, I feel sure still wish to own a signed (physical) copy of a book. However, for those who prefer ebooks, or others who can not aford the expense of postage and packaging, the ability to have an ebook signed by their favourite author can only be a good thing.

Kevin