3 Questions for Lee Nash

Questions
1. What is your personal/aesthetic relationship to the poetic line? That is, how do you understand it, use it, etc.

As a poet with a broad range, at any given time I could be writing a haiku, a received form or a piece of flash fiction. This means that I could be focusing on a work anywhere between one line (a monostich) or a paragraph or more (flash). The important first step is to get my initial thoughts on screen, then I try to proceed at an unhurried pace, to find the line that is pleasing to my ear and eye, that fits the essence of the piece. In the draft stage I want to see what emerges – happily now and again the first try is pretty close to the finished product. If there isn’t a good definition then at some point I will start a revision, at which stage (for example) a sonnet may become a free verse poem, or vice versa. The process is organic, with the line taking its length and shape on the page in the most natural way possible, the line breaks setting the pace, working like gears to drive the reader along. The line needs to work with and not against the poem’s internal rhythm and cadences, to be in sympathy with its words and sounds, and the reaction the whole invokes.

2. Do you find a relationship between words and writing and the human body? Or between your writing and your body?

Yes, in the sense that we produce the fruit of who and what we are. I suspect that the traits expressed in our words are linked as much to our physiology and psychology as to our life experiences. When writing a specifically body-oriented poem (for instance, about a C-section, or a burn, or a colonoscopy), the sense of relationship between words and body is keener, simply by definition, but all poems seem visceral rather than intellectual at source. It’s a fascinating question and this body/writing correlation is something I would like to explore in more depth.

3. Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?

I often think that it increases my intensity when what I really need to do is lighten up! Saying that, I do enjoy writing light verse from time to time. To me writing is a work of faith, and this is exciting but also quite daunting. It’s not the same as having a skill; for instance, I play the flute and know I can pick up the instrument and play a piece as long as I have practiced enough. With poetry, even if you are honing your craft, understand the dynamics, and have publications to your name, you are creating something from nothing each time (as all artists are) and you cannot afford to lose your self-belief. This is not always easy. A poet must accept that the poetry business involves regular rejection and so develop a kind of impassivity to all that, yet still stay sensitive to inspiration and new ideas.

Haiku

guessing his name…
the scent of jasmine
on fine rain

Stardust, February 2018

premature birth
I choose the thinnest needles
and the softest wool

Pulse, 16 February 2018


sundog an unexpected windfall

The Asahi Shimbun, Asahi Haikuist Network, 16 February 2018

morning kiss
the warm sting
of his bristles

Chanokeburi, Love Videoanthology, 14 February 2018

Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared in print and online journals including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Heron’s Nest, and The Lake. Her first poetry chapbook, Ash Keys, is published by Flutter Press. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website: leenashpoetry.com. http://flutterpress2009.blogspot.fr/2017/11/new-release-ash-keys-by-lee-nash.html

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