I thought for a long time about what object to choose for Poetry Object 2017. The object I ended up choosing was the brooch from my grandmother’s shower cap. Writing helps me work out questions I have and express emotions. I wanted to work out why I had chosen this curious object out of all the other precious objects I’ve kept of my grandmother’s. The brooch is only plastic with glass diamantes and would not necessarily have value to another person, but by the end of the poem-writing process it was clear that it held special meaning to me because of the memories and stories I attached to it.
When I thought about writing the poem Nana’s Shower Cap Brooch, memories that were connected to the brooch floated to the surface as images and scenes. I wrote them down as they spoke to me. These stories, moments and memories all became material for my poem. After I had the draft of the poem, I sat at the computer, rearranging the words to make the poem as clear and condensed as I could.
I keep drafts of all the different versions of my poems in case I prefer an earlier version and this also allows me to take leaps and risks in my writing. I read the poem aloud to hear how it sounds and its rhythm. If there’s anything clunky, it will stand out and I can work on it. Giving the poem some space and rest can also help and the changes I need to make often become clearer. By the end, there is a point when I look at the paper or screen and know I have a poem that expresses what I want to say in a creative or unusual way.
Anna Jacobson is a Commissioned Poet for Poetry Object
Anna Jacobson is a Brisbane-based poet, writer, artist and photographer. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award, the Scribe Nonfiction Prize and the University of Canberra Health Poetry Prize. Read more »
Discover Anna's poem "Nana's Shower Cap Brooch" here »