Dark Angels Note 63

Dearest friends,

Welcome back to our writerly thoughts to distract, inspire and reassure you. Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..


1 Writing

Over the last 18 months, many of us have developed a different relationship with poetry – both in reading and writing it.

This week see if you can extend this relationship. Take three poems from a poet you have recently discovered. Merge them into a new poem. If all goes well, try merging the work of three different poets. There will be lyrical and surprising results.


2 Reading

The Words Collide

The scribe objects. You can’t put it like that,
I can’t write that. But the client
is a tough small woman forty years old.
She insists. She needs her letter
to open out full of pleated revolving silk
and the soft lobes of her ears
where she flaunts those thin silver wires.

She wants to tell her dream to the only one
who will get the drift. How she saw their children lying
every one dressed out in their simplest fears. They glowed,
the shape of their sentence outlined in sea green.
Among those beloved exiles
one sighed happy, as a curtain
lightened and the grammar changed, and the wall
showed pure white in the shape of a bird’s wing.

But when she whispered it to the scribe he frowned
and she saw she had got it wrong, she had come
to a place where they all spoke the one language:
it rose up before her like a quay wall
draped in sable weeds. He said,
You can’t put those words into your letter.
It will weigh too heavy, it will cost too much,
it will break the strap of the postman’s bag,
it will crack his collarbone. The bridges
are all so bad now, with that weight to shift
he’s bound to stumble. He’ll never make it alive.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
From The Boys from Bluehill. Gallery Press, 2015.


3 Workshopping

Foundation Course

This autumn we’re very excited to be running the four-week online version of our acclaimed Foundation Course for the second time. The course is limited to eight places and will be led by Neil Baker and Jamie Jauncey, with spot visits by guest tutors from the Dark Angels family.

Two-hour sessions, twice a week, for one month
Each Monday & Thursday, 13 September to 7 October UK 5.00-7.00pm
US East Coast 12.00-2.00pm
US West Coast 9.00am-11.00pm
Fee: £795, €895, $1095
Limited to eight places

Interested? Drop Susanne an email to save your seat.


4 Gathering

We’ve paused our Tuesday night gatherings for the summer months. Many thanks to all of you who’ve taken part over the last year. We’ll be back on September 7. Same time (7.00-8.00pm in the UK), but a new Zoom link.

From everyone at Dark Angels

Also published on Medium.