Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Title contenders

I might have discussed it on here before, and it's certainly come up for discussion over at Poets On Fire, but what makes for a good title for a poetry collection?

Should it come 'naturally' from the contents of the collection, perhaps using the name of one of the key poems, or is it a good idea to, first and foremost, pick something eyecatching and (probably a lot more relevant these days), Google-catching? After all, isn't the first job of the title to entice readers?

The two needn't be mutually exclusive, of course. Last year, Rob A Mackenzie's The Opposite of Cabbage, for example, was the sort of title that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have forgotten quickly as a casual browser, but which also came from one of the poems in the book. It's actually also a good example of another common device in titles these days - The Something Of Something - just as a few years ago there seemed to be an awful lot of books titled along the lines of Seamus Heaney's District and Circle.

Anyway, there's a little poll to the right, just for fun - you can vote for more than one category. I'd also be interested to hear any comments, as I'm entirely undecided at the moment.

Oh, and my favourite? RS Thomas again, and the splendid H'm.

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