Something happens when I try and write poetry. I regress to my days of teenage angst. Believe me, that is a journey of many years, but as a teenager I discovered Gerard Manley Hopkins, and I spent those earnest years trying to re-write ‘Pied Beauty’ with its sprung rhythm and archaic language.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour, dazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
In my first year, with some trepidation, I did present a poem to the M.A. Workshop. The response was as expected. The group recognised how forced it was and concluded that, ‘no one writes poetry like that anymore.’ And of course none of it made sense to anyone, except me, which I suppose, is total indulgence. I won’t subject you to that poem, but here is one about…