I was listening to BBC 6 Music this morning and Mary Anne Hobbs was talking about National Poetry Day – which is today! It’s also five years since I published my first book of poetry, called Growin’ Up – Snapshots/Fragments. The poems are about just that – growing up. Snapshots, fragments of memory from my first 25 years. Things that stick in your mind, even if you’re not sure why, given all the things there are to remember.
School is a theme, of course – and my love of music and words. They come together in one poem, which is simply called English. If you are reading on a phone, the words might scatter a bit, so I’ve included photos below.
I loved English. At school it was My favourite A level, Even if I chose economics For university, In the end. I loved the creativity, The insight into human kind. The mysteries of T.S.Eliot’s masterpiece, The Wasteland. April is the cruellest month, Stetson! You who werewith me In the ships at Mylae! The opulence, And the breakdowns, In Tender is the Night. Nicole and Dick, Fortunes reversed. The magnificent tragedies Of Othello, And Lear. The green-eyed monster, The self-inflicted misfortune, The rage, Defeat, Inevitable and final. Walking back from supper, With class mates, Exclaiming, Howl wind, crack your cheeks! Actions speak louder than words, But words last longer than actions.
I didn’t spend all my time, As a teenager, Pining after girls I was too shy to ask out, Because I was in love with words. The Clash, T.S Eliot, Shakespeare, Orwell, Tolstoy, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Conrad, Apocalypse Now, (You surf or you fight!) David Byrne, Alex Harvey, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen Slogans, Observations, Metaphors, Emotions, Resonances, Fragments, Memories.
And on photo:
Growin’ Up is available on Amazon and Kindle, if you’d like to give it a try. £5.99/£3.99 in UK money – getting cheaper by the day for the rest of the world!