Guest writer Carole Bone: “Poetry – Pain, Pleasure and the Pen”

In the late 1990s Carole Bone turned up in my daytime astrology class: red hair, big eyes, bright mind, very eager to learn, fast talker, very hard to keep her quiet. Irrepressible. A great student to teach.

Some ten years later, she began, tentatively, showing me her poems: it was obvious that she is a born writer.

I remember thinking  “She’ll be getting published before long.” Sure enough, in 2011 she won a national poetry prize of £1000 with her poem ‘Stardancing‘ and has continued to develop as a poet. Click HERE to read her first published poem. Her first collection should be appearing before too long! ( Carole – did you hear that…..?)

Carole has kindly agreed to be my first Guest writer of 2014. Here she talks about why poetry is such a special creative medium for her. The next post will feature two of Carole’s recent poems.

Carole says: I was first attracted to writing poetry because I found I could say things in a poem that were difficult to express in other forms of writing.

So much can be said within the creative space of a poem to create a unique piece of art that touches the human soul in a way no other form of writing can.  Poetry has this limitless, creative magic other forms of writing do not have because it is not bound by the usual constraints and structures of grammar, sentence and context.  It is therefore arguably the most creative form of writing.

Developing as a poet can be hard work and not as easy as you might think. The freedom of all this amazing creative space can be overwhelming rather than inspirational.

I am reminded of a quote by Gene Fowler – “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead”.   I think most writers would agree that sometimes it can indeed feel as though blood rather than sweat is shed finding just the right words for a poem.

Poetry: in the genes!!
Poetry: in the genes!!

Engaging in writing poetry stretches your abilities as you strive to master the art of showing readers a scene through imagery, creating something that comes alive in the reader’s mind.

The challenge is to grab the reader’s heart by appealing to their senses, using words and images that make them feel.  That the reader connects emotionally with characters and their plights is essential to generate the visceral response you seek. This is achieved by learning how to use language that evokes emotions without telling readers what they should be feeling, to “Show not tell”.

Words must be carefully selected; every single one must be necessary to the poem. The writer must also learn how to be economical with language. The meaning of each word in a poem must be weighed carefully; connotation can mean the difference between a poem with depth and a poem that feels flat.

Melody too, has a natural affinity with poetry.  Similarly, a well crafted poem flows in meter, rhythm and cadence. A musicality is present in both which can have a physical effect on the listener.

Inspiration can flourish from almost anything.  An intriguing word, a dream, an image, an experience – your own or someone else’s.The list is endless.  The subject can be anything from comic to tragic, fact to fantasy and everything in between.  The crafting of a poem as it comes to life, weaving words to create a scene or story, is ultimately highly satisfying.  It can even feel as if  the poem is growing, taking on a life of its own.

The opportunity to develop your skill as a poet is boundless but there is an aspect to writing that I found both unexpected and magical.  When I first started to write it was a very private experience, but when I finally shared my efforts I was amazed at how something I had written had perhaps made someone ponder for a moment, smile, shed a tear or simply just enjoy.

That truly is an indescribable pleasure: a gift well worth every drop of “blood” squeezed from the brow to the page….

Carole Bone
Carole Bone

To see Carole’s bio and her publications list, click

Carole Bone – Bio and Publications

Contact Carole at:

700 words copyright Carole Bone/Anne Whitaker /2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

6 thoughts on “Guest writer Carole Bone: “Poetry – Pain, Pleasure and the Pen”

  1. I have you to thank for steering me in the right direction as well as that oh so very needed kick in the pants you often refer to, Ms Whitaker. I think I need that most of all and I am forever grateful for your encouragement, knowledge and friendship – Carole xXx

    1. Thanks, Carole. Well- I really appreciate the people who kicked my ass just when I needed it!So it’s great to be on the appreciation end myself….but it’s your talent and effort. All it needed was a bit of encouragement! x

  2. I have known Carole for a number of years but never appreciated just how talented she was with her pen although I always knew how well read she was. Read both her poems online this morning and was particularly moved by ‘sisterectomy’, I can really feel the pain in that poem. You’ve been hiding your light under a bushel for far too long mrs bone!!

  3. Thank you so much Sheilagh I consider that a huge compliment from such an artistic and creative lady. I have been very lucky to be inspired and encouraged by many of those over the last few years. “Sisterectomy” is indeed about the pain and loss of a sibling. Someone commented to me once that no one thinks of that particular relationship much yet a sibling is the one person who understands your family heritage intimately as they share it with you from birth. I had never thought of it like that before, such response is what makes writing so rewarding and amazing. Carole

Leave a Reply