Reflections 4: Impressions

Available at the Amazon bookshop.

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Reflections 4 is the fourth collection of haiku 5-7-5 verses in the Reflections series.

Reflections 4 fires  further acerbic shots in some themes already explored in Reflections 1, 2 and 3, as well as new subjects such as: vulgar displays of ‘new’ wealth (Wasteland III), economic malaise and inequality (Economics IV), the supremacy of the right in UK politics and its harsh socio-economic consequences (Politics) , the poison that exits within families, or various members therein (Blood IV), the importance of culture and the futility of conforming to  other people’s expectations rather than following one’s own path (Tangibility III), the lack of due process in an increasingly insecure world (Law and Justice),  the savagery of English holidaymakers abroad (Home and Abroad III), love, loss and friendship (Friends, Lovers and Other Relationships IV), the  life-and mind destroying daily ritual of commuting to work, especially by train from a far suburb into the Capital (Commuting III), the reality of sport for most people is the mediocrity  of being a pub-going spectator (The Sporting Life IV), the  myths and the fraud of the health and fitness industry (Health and Well-Being II), and the bigotry, fakery  and fraud that is religion (Religion and Spirituality).

Contains very strong language

Copyright 2015 © RC Clermont

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Reflections 3: More Haiku Verses

Available at the Amazon bookshop.

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In Reflections 3, RC Clermont draws these haiku verses not from the Elements, Nature, or the Seasons in the ‘traditional’way, but from modern life, how we are all living a lie. The themes follow those in Reflections 1 and 2, including: global capitalism, economic, inequality, neo-liberalism, suburban greed, materialism and pretension, the English obsession with home-ownership, the pressure to conform, the importance of culture, literature and art instead of consumerism, commuting to a job one hates for poor pay, the toxicity of family life, love and friendship, the myths of sporting prowess and the golf and tennis ‘culture’ of Middle England.

Copyright 2015 © RC Clermont

Reflections 2: 55 Haiku Verses

Available at the Amazon bookstore.

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In Reflections 2, RC Clermont explores further themes visited in Reflections – the first anthology-such as family dysfunction economic malaise, the gross inequalities of the neo-liberal model and the post-Thatcher economic legacy in Britain which still exist today (Economics II). The vulgar materialism of suburban England (Moonscape II) and consumption are exposed for the worthlessness they are (Wasteland II).

New themes explored include the destructive economic, geopolitical and social climate of modern America (Atlantic).
Jerusalem critiques the darker side of Englishness, xenophobia and the sense of ‘entitlement’ to possess one’s own little piece of England.
Commuting reflects on topics that anyone who has ever commuted into a city to work, and wondered whether their way of life is worthwhile.
Tangibility sees culture, art, literature and learning as a signs of a civilised, enlightened society, increasingly under threat from the forces of consumerism, global capitalism and religion.

Society II comments on the social vanity of the London rich. The Sporting Life II explores themes of bigotry and misguided assertions about sporting prowess. Once again, in Home and Abroad II, embarrassing Britons are targeted. The vanity and the lifestyles of the rich are re-visited in Images II.

Proverbs II explores attitudes to success.

RC Clermont uses the English haiku 5-7-5 format and the intention is say what is needed in as few words as possible.

Copyright 2013 © RC Clermont. This edition published in 2015.

 

‘REFLECTIONS’ At Amazon Books

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In Reflections, RC Clermont uses the ‘English’ 17-syllable haiku form. In an age of too much information, Reflections deploys the 5-7-5 format to achieve brevity.

Traditionally, haiku focuses on themes such as nature and the seasons
In this collection of fifty 17 -sound haiku verses, RC Clermont has departed
from this rule.

Reflections comments on themes such as family dysfunction, particularly
the consequences of relations’ attempts to dominate their ‘blood’.

Other themes explored are: love and friendship, economic malaise and inequality,
as well as the crass, crude, materialism of suburban England. Reflections also takes
a swipe at capitalism, the shallowness riches, and how money does not make people
more respectable.

Reflections also takes a more critical view of the green lawns and fairways of Middle England, and the bigotry and hypocrisy therein, as well as the hell that is the England football supporter. The English abroad are also observed at their worst.

Reflections also delivers a critique on the stark reality of global politics and so-called democracy.
Reflections is part of a series, and the first collection of poems is now available in traditional book format for the first time and is also available through Amazon.

© Copyright RC Clermont 2013. This edition published 2015.

Sweet Land

SWEET LAND

Ain’t got no health care.
Congress, they took it, but hell!
I’ve still got my guns.

I ain’t got no dough
For health insurance, so I
Put my trust in God.

Ain’t got no money
For my meds, got no estate
For zero Death Tax.

Fallin’ through the cracks.
Welcome to America,
‘Cos it’s great again!

© Copyright RC Clermont 2017

New verses (acrostic, iambs, minute, tanka et al)

Over the course of this year I have been experimenting with different forms of poetry/verse, from ‘free’, unmetred, unstructured forms to tanka, cinquain, minute and acrostic. In the free verse I have used rhymes, though not structured rhyme schemes, and I would submit that para rhymes, assonance and consonance  can be more effective than simply finding exact rhymes. The advantage of this strategy means a greater flexibility in what one has to say. One also avoids absurdity for having found a rhyme for its own sake. That, frankly, should be left for limericks, where it doesn’t matter. I often do not set a stanza limit at the outset, though I have been able to sense at which point I have said enough on the particular theme or captured moment.

To date I had avoided iambic forms because I had considered it unchallenging, and had preferred to focus on haiku and tanka and themes of love, loss, place, country, geopolitics, economics, politics, the scourge of English holidaymakers abroad, Brexit and even food and drink.

Having recently composed several verses in the cinquain 2-4-6-8-2 form, I then discovered that under certain poetic conditions such as the cinquain, iambs can indeed mount a challenge because one also has to choose one’s words carefully, as well as ensuring that the limits in which one is working do not result in ridiculous-sounding or grammatically absurd phrases or syntax.

I also experimented with tanka and naga-uta, so that the respective 5-7-5-7-7 and 5-7 forms became 7-5-7-5-7 stanzas, with the last stanza being a couplet of 7-7. I expect that my continuing self-taught writing career will unearth a term for this form.

I mentioned avoiding rhyme schemes. Indeed, they can pose a challenge, and in the minute form poems I have written I find that I can build around two key phrases; one for the opening of stanza one, and the other for the end of stanza three (if one follows strictly the 8-4-4-4, 8-4-4-4, 8-4-4-4). Indeed, the aa, bb, cc, dd, ee, ff rhyme scheme should be an enjoyable project for any lover of language and words. 

Over the course of this year (including interruptions from life’s vicissitudes and caustic members of one’s own family – who unknowingly provide a great deal of material,  the caprices and tantrums of young nephews [making me grateful to be childless] work, or no job at all) I have composed thirty new verses . A handful more will then see me self-publish on Amazon Create Space volume 5 of my verse. The first 4 to date (The Reflections series) are composed entirely in haiku/senru. As far as the latter is concerned, I have also written (last night, in fact) a three-stanza verse in the 5-7-5 form. I needed more space than the usual one stanza to express what I needed to say. It’s semi-autobiographical, you see.

Some of the verse shared here, such as The Writer series, The View From Parliament Hill, will soon be taken down from this blog page to meet the needs of publishing law and ethics. In the meantime, I will post other new verse for this page also. Thank you to all my followers and readers. I look forward to seeing more of your works. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and images.

RC Clermont   14 October 2017