Beyond My Writing Space

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Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Poem: You Won't See Me Cry

You Won't See Me Cry is a difficult one to explain. I was looking through my romantic peotry one day in August and realised that I've never written a poem from the point of view of relationship break up.

I challenged my high level of empathy to the test and attempted to write something I've never had personal experience of before.

To write this I tried to get into the head of my character from my current work in progress Life's A Ball. Elle doesnt believe in true love. She doesn't believe that she ever find someone she loves enough to risk letting them break her heart. So the first paragraph is about her sceptism of Love. "Trust me, you say, and I'll hold your hand" Is the opening line and it creates the same sense of mistrust. It is followed by three further lines that have the same connotation. I followed the same theme of sceptism into the second verse, although she is taking the chance, she is wary of it. The third paragraph I opened with no mistrust or sceptism at all. It is as though the character has actually fallen in love.

It isn't untill the end of the third verse that we learn all is not well. "Maybe I should know its a matter of time" In the fourth stanza we learn that things have gone wrong. We also learn the the character blames herself for trusting her lover in the first place. We are drawn into her pain and can imagine the door closing as he leaves and Elle falling into a blubbering heap on the floor, even she acknowledges that it will happen. But Elle is a strong character, she is the proverbial brick wall and she is determined to remain strong in front of her love and she says in the closing line of the poem "No matter how much this hurts me, you won't see me cry"


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Poem: Life's Longest Mile

In September 2007, two of my friends passed away. Both had life threatening conditions and to loose one of them was a bitter blow and myself and my work colleagues were still reeling from the shock when we learnt that the other friend has also passed away. Again, it was the first time I'd experienced death in this way. The first friend to pass away was the only a few years older than me, and the second a couple of years younger.
I've always had my partner, who was a pillar of strength through this, and my family to hold my hand through the grieving process. But this time I didn't feel like they understood. Life's Longest Mile is my tribute to them.


Read the poem Life's Longest Mile and more Poems written by Erin Cawood at

The Poem: Insomnia

In the middle of June, I experienced an awful period of not being able to sleep properly. My mind would not shut off and by the time I wrote Insomnia I was physically exhausted. I don't know how people who suffer with insomnia manage, I was actually sleeping. Not properly granted, but not at all? I'd have gone insane.

I was inspired by the fact my body ached

The poem is a bit like a prayer. "Dear Lord, I am so tired." In the beginning there is a frustration about need to relax because the body is tired, and not being able to. This is mixed with the want to carrying and keep going because the mind is still active. This causes a confused stated of mind. The poem goes into with the physical restrictions of the exhaustion. "My arms and legs they ache" and into time and the number of hours sleep "My nights are getting shorter" and I want to address the effect that not sleeping has on your emotions. "I'm so fed up of this disguise" Stanza 1 to 4 repeat the first line of the verse as the last line. But the last Stanza begins "I want a life of zing and zest" and ends "For sleep is my only quest" clarifying that this has been the problem all along.


Saturday, 6 June 2009

The Poem: Seasons of Love

In the summer of 2000, before my partner and I moved to Leeds, I was studying an AS Level in English Language. My coursework for the class was based around creative writing. I'd already used up 95% of my word allowance on The Basement, when my tutor told me that I needed to submit 2 pieces of creative writing, and that I had all of 2 days to complete a 2ND piece. Argh!

Luckily, I had written a poem for my partner.

Seasons of Love is about being in love is about being in love no matter what the whether is. I started the poem with winter, because the poem was originally written January or February time. It develops in to spring and all the things that we associate with spring and as it rolls into summer the things we would associate with the season, and so on through autumn and winter, Christmas in particular. I repeated the first stanza as the last stanza to give the impression that true love will continue beyond just the one year.

Seasons of Love is still the favourite poem that I have written


Read the poem Seasons of Love and more Poems written by Erin Cawood at

Read the synopsis for Erin's Short Story The Basement on Erin's Short Story Blog or Read the story at

The Poem: Fighting A Losing Battle

For those of you who are just discovering my blogs, I am working on my 1st novel - "Life's A Ball?" that follows the loves the live's and the losses of five women. Within the first few pages of the novel my main protagonist recieves a Valentine's Card from "?" With a beautifully hand written poem.

This poem causes havoc in a later chapter.

To make the scene more believeable and to explain why two incredibly close friends would be fighting over a poem, I had to actually write the poem and form the point of view of the character who was writing it, but without giving away who had actually written it.

The poem is about wanting the person that you have fallen in love with to notice you. The first stanza starts with simple things like wanting that person to talk to you, then I developed the wanting a little deeper more in the 2nd verse to include thinking about you. In verse 3 I added a little desire, and a bit of stalkerish desperation. I wanted a last stanza that would make the characters in the scene (they're all women) touch their chests and heave a love struck sigh . So a added a touch of helplessness that explained the poem before it. Something that told the reader that the sender was Fighting A Losing Battle.


Read the poem Fighting A Losing Battleand more Poems written by Erin Cawood at

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Poem: Spooky

Going back to my inability to actually put something into the post box. (The Wicked Witch) This time I actually managed to do it. I wrote a poem as a thank you to my best friend. She reads all of my novel extracts and she tells me if things don't work. She listens to my problems. If she didn't live so far away she'd probably tell my if I looked like crap too!

Spooky is my SATC type of girlfriend.

What I mean by that is I connect with Spooky, and I always have. She knows me just as well as I know yourself. I tell her anything, and everything, and it doesn't matter if I don't speak to her for a week a month or a year (or even 7 years in our case). All it takes is for one email, or a text message, or a telephone call and it's as though I spoken to her just last night.

When I wrote Spooky I just thought about want I wanted to say to her, bought a birthday card with a simple "Happy Birthday" and wrote the poem in the card.


Read the poem Spooky and more Poems written by Erin Cawood at

Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Poem: The Wicked Witch

As far as putting things into a post box go, I am rubbish at it. Remembering what day it is, and when it is not a problem for me. I'll by a card, I'll write in it, I'll even address and put a stamp on it. But actually posting it? I seem to have a missing particle in my DNA, because I never remember to do it.

No one in my family expects a card from me.

So when mother's day came around this year, I got up especially early for a sunday to wish my mum a happy mother's day. For me, poetry is a beautiful way of saying something to someone you love, so I wanted to write my mum a poem. I spent days thinking about my earliest memories of my mum. Actually thinking about the first physical presence I remembered, where I can see her in my minds eye, and whats she was doing. Then I started thinking about the memories that really stuck out for me. The ones that made me smile, or cringe.

The first half of the poem expresses the view that as children we don't consider what our mums do for us. We have a "me, me, me" prospective and mums are there to stifle us, use us as an excuse when they screw up, stop us for doing what we want, and embarass us. A form of parental torture worthy of the title The Wicked Witch. The second half of the poem is from an adult perspective. It's about how much I appreciate my mum, that I think she did a good job, and that I don't bare any grudges for what she has done to me as a child. The last paragraph is acknowledging that she isn't perfect, but thanking her for being my mum.


Read The Wicked Witch and other Poems written by Erin Cawood at

Saturday, 7 March 2009

The Poem: The Crush

I work at in the Fleet Dept, of an insurance company and for Valentine's Day 2009 we had a competition. The prize was a £20 for pretty much anywhere. The taks was to do something romantic that would capture the managers heart. I wanted my entry to be a poem, but I wasn't really feeling all that inspired. Then on the last day for entries I woke up with a little rhyme in my head and within 45 minutes I'd composed the whole poem.

Do you remember the first time the last time you fell in love?

Somehow I tapped into that feeling when you starting falling for the person who makes your world turn. The Crush is about that one person who makes your stomach flip with just the smallest of actions. You try ignore it. You try to hide it. You try to deny it. When its obvious to everyone that you fancy the pants off that person.

Unfortunatly, I didn't win the competition. I lost out to heart shaped strawberry cheesecakes.


Read The Crush and other Poems written by Erin Cawood at

The Poem: Grandma

I think I was incredibly lucky to be as old as 16 the first time that I experienced the death of a close family member. As the youngest of 5, I know that it could have quite easily been a situation where I was too young to even remember my Grandma but its hard to accept death when you're old enough to understand what it means...

The end of someone's life

The first time you learn that someone close to you has passed away, and you actually understand the above line its incredibly difficult to accept, grieving for the loss of that person is the only way to allow life to move on and different people grieve in different ways.

When my grandmother passed away, my family all got together and we sat around my mum's house talking, crying, trying to get our heads around it. I went back to work the following day because I couldn't cope with it and I just wanted to get my mind off the fact that my grandma was gone.

This difficult period for me was a time for me to decide my opinion on life, death, and the after life. For me, what makes a person is what is inside their heart. Not their phsyical being, but their soul. This is something death can not take away.

The poem Grandmacame about whilst I was assessing my opinion on death. It helped me come up with my conclusions. It helped me grieve for the loss of my grandmother and to this day, almost 11 years later, I still find comfort in this poem.


Read Grandma and other Poems written by Erin Cawood at