Philip Larkin once said “I think we got much better poetry when it was all regarded as sinful and subversive, and you had to hide it under a cushion when someone came in.”
Is it easier to read or write poetry in secret? Is it just that with no one looking over your shoulder or asking if you’ve written the next stanza yet, or pointing out that your poem doesn’t rhyme, it’s easier to be free and expressive? if so, then following on from my remarks a few days ago, it’s easier for all writers to write ‘in secret’, behind closed doors or in my case, in the middle of the night when everyone else has been in bed for hours.
I have not ventured far into the forest of poetry. I once stood under the first tree and ‘had a go’. It was not a good outcome for either me or the world of poetry. I don’t mind admitting this is not my genre. but occasionally, very occasionally prose will not cut it, usually when I am in a terrible rage (“she’s in one of her black moods again”) and IN SECRET I write a poem. The first line of one went like this:
B*gger B*gger Sh@t F?ck.
I was pleased with it – it said what I was feeling, did what I wanted it to do, which was to make me feel better. Sorry to all the real poets out there. It’s a bit of a mysterious world, this poetry-writing thing.