Walsall poet and songsmith Ian Davies releases his poetry collection “Butterfly Wings,” this Saturday with a book launch at Southcart Books in Walsall. I had a quick chat with Ian prior to the launch to get some more information on the book and what went into it.
Q.Congratulations on the publication of Butterfly Wings, I wonder if you would mind sharing a little about the collection, the themes within and why you titled it so?
A.Thanks Richard and thank you for your support in publishing my books. The theme of Butterfly Wings is the psychological and emotional effects of childhood abuse that I experienced; and how, long after the event, the residual effects still influence and destroy self and world perception. Hopefully I have been able to give an insight into my journey through this and my recovery from this.
The title comes from a concept in chaos theory that states if enough butterflies flap their wings in synch then the energy created could cause an earthquake somewhere in the world. This for me describes perfectly the aftershocks that abuse causes long after the events themselves have ended. Even now I find I have to deal with a piece of my past distorting my views.
Q. You’ve chosen to share some very personal poems and ideas, what bought you to this point where you decided it was time to do so?
A.The main weapon an abuser utilises is silence. This book is my way of breaking my silence. This book has been with me for a long time, some of the initial poems date back to my early twenties. It is a book I never wanted to write but knew I needed to. The hurdles in coming to this point were
1. Do I want people to know this about me?
2. How much do I want them to see?
I feel it important that people do become aware of the continuing traumas adults experience from being abused as children; and now I feel strong enough and complete enough to allow others into my world and on my journey
Q. Butterfly Wings is your second book, tell me a little about your first book, Dog.
A.The main theme in Butterfly Wings focuses on the sexual abuse I endured, Dog in a way is a prequel to Butterfly Wings. The main theme in Dog is the effects of psychological abuse on self-identity and relationships. Although the main character, Dog, is a fictional character his journey is also my journey.
On this note I am currently working on an illustrated edition of Dog so watch this space.
Q. As well as being a poet, you’re also a guitarist and songwriter. How do you know when you start on an idea whether it will be a poem or a song and what is the difference between writing both?
A.That is an excellent question that doesn’t have a simple answer. The majority of time it tends to be that I will be toying around with melody lines and chord progressions which eventual form into some kind of structure, which I feel is good enough for recording; this then requires obsessive listening to for about a month. In this time I then usually realise that I have a poem that could fit the melody line and mood of the instrumental piece and usually this makes for a happy marriage between poetry and music.
Other times, whilst listening, a lyric line can pop into my head and then this grows in to a full lyric. When asked about my music I say I don’t write ‘songs’ I just create room for words and music to connect. So I guess, for me, there really is little difference between writing poetry and writing a lyric; rhythm is important in both, in poetry to give the work pace and momentum and in music to fit with the melody of a song, so for me there is no real difference between the two; for me a song is simply poetry put to music
QA.. Once Butterfly Wings is launched what next?
You know I hadn’t really thought about that one ha-ha. I guess what comes next is another book; I have been writing since my teens so I have a mass of words gathering dust and pleading to be set free into the world. But first is my book launch at Southcart Books on Saturday 26th May; for which I feel privileged to be invited to do.
Also I have started performing my music live, and recording new material, so that takes up a good portion of my time, and I am revisiting my art but on a digital platform. So I guess what’s next is more of the above.
Q. Where can folks find you online?
A. I don’t have a very prominent virtual presence. My poetry is on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/thebaldofwalsall/ and my music and recorded poetry and experimental sound work can be found on https://soundcloud.com/iand63 and my books can be found on Lulu.com and Amazon.co.uk
Thank you to Ian for agreeing to the interview and being so upfront, I’ve been privileged to see an advance copy of the book and it’s excellent so if you come along to the launch you can not only pick up a copy but you will get to hear Ian read from it as well.