It’s been a year since I started uploading poems. There’s now twenty of them, so I suppose I can say I have a collection.
Although writing has always been important to me, I had not previously attempted poetry, so this blog documents the start of my journey from ignorance. As I’ve travelled that path, I’ve become steadily more exasperated with modern or ‘free’ verse (as it is popularly conceived). I’m exasperated, on the one hand, by the false egalitarianism of refusing to acknowledge that there’s good and bad poetry, or even any clear definition of the boundaries of poetry. (Yes, take the bar away, and we can all be champions at the high jump.) But I’m also exasperated that, instead, we are expected to conform to faddish and absurd conventions about what’s acceptable. Free verse has become a tyranny. According to the online experts, thou must not (for example) include rhyme, metre, or capitalise the lines, or write about death or love.
Well, they can all eff off. Even if it ruins my chances of winning prizes- and frankly, I can’t much be bothered to try – I’ll dress my ideas and emotions in whatever clothes feel right for the occasion. Sometimes the discipline of a sonnet or a villanelle stimulates creativity; at others, the hunt for rhymes is an annoying distraction. And sometimes – often, even – I’ll write about the big human events and experiences such as death, love, and regret. Though they have been the themes of poetry for millenia, they are still fresh and powerful to me. If I were to ban them from my poems, my poetry would cease to be authentic.
Two more things: Firstly, you’ll find that there’s an audio version of each poem. Only me doing my best amateur recitation, I’m afraid, but it may make the poems more accessible for some people. Secondly, each poem is accompanied by some very brief notes that focus on more technical aspects. I could see no harm in this, and it may interest some people.
I do hope you like what you find. I’d love you to send comments or other thoughts, and of course, to subscribe.