A poetic twist… or a twisted poet


For those who don’t know, my partner in crime is a composer who is constantly looking for inspiration. One of the issues he runs into on a fairly regular basis has to do with lyrics; more specifically, copyright issues. Matt likes to look to poetry for his choral inspiration and regularly falls into the trap of not being able to use a beautiful piece due to copyright law.

This issue has led to Matt haranguing me to write him some poetry to set to music. When I asked him if he had a topic in mind, his answer was “not having to pay royalties” (and before you get mad fellow writers, he was joking. I would get my cut not to mention the ability to call myself a choral lyricist). Well, this is what I came up with – the first two verses were off the cuff and sang at him from the opposite end of the couch – the rest was a in a love note for him the following morning. I would call this a second draft as I have gone through to change some wording and phrasing to better the flow:

(also, my strength is prose)

Roses are red,
Violets are pretty,
Please move me the hell
back into the city!

This town is too boring
This place so mundane,
I fear living out here
Will drive me insane.

I miss all the noise,
All the culture and rabble;
My idea of fun
Isn’t Sunday night Scrabble.

Please let’s just move
To somewhere less quiet
So you don’t have to sit
Through my one-woman riot.

So Please, do remember
It would be a pity
To have me stay here,
And not live in the city.

Check him out at www.matthewdonnellymusic.com






I understand that it’s a little ironic that a writer would choose slang as the first word ever published on her blog, but that is the beauty of language. Whether the words are listed in the OED or we choose to speak in well-scripted gibberish (see: Lewis Carroll, “The Jabberwocky“), the English language and its colloquial derivatives can do so much more than express a simple action such as saying hello. A single, well-chosen word can express warmth, depth, nuance and create a friendly, approachable demeanour or infer exactly the opposite.

To me, g’day suggests:

  • familiarity
  • friendliness
  • warmth
  • It suggests the Australian people, who are generally known for their outgoing, kind nature.
  • It’s informal

The informal friendliness and familiarity of the greeting is disarming and will more likely bring a response with the same openness and warmth, allowing me to better get my point across (once I decide to make it).

That is the true beauty of language. One well-chosen word can speak volumes.

That is also why skilled, trained writers are so important, whether it be the language used in a book or what we hear on the evening news. Our expectations can be raised, dashed or completely misguided by the type of language an individual decides to use.

Writers are more than just people who blather and throw around words hoping to get noticed. We are wordsmiths. We labour over a sentence to have it convey exactly what we hope. We sell our souls as piece-work and pray to be appreciated for the skill we use to craft our art.

I have been a freelance copywriter and journalist for two and a half years. This blog is where I plan to share my ruminations about writing, freelancing and the state of the job market for those in my field.

Please share this journey with me.