I wasn’t my usual chipper self when giving this interview, and when I received the notes back I realised that I sound like a proper arsey little madam!
Looking pretty arsey here.
1. I was surprised when you told me that Porters in a College don’t actually carry any bags for anyone. They simply guard the keys.
Portering is far more than just guarding keys, I assure you! The Porters ensure the smooth running of the day-to-day business of College life, handling everything from the post to broken hearts. They are the backbone of academia – providing security, advice and a friendly ear at any time of the day or night. Guarding keys, indeed. Pah! Philistine.
2. PorterGirl is a work of fiction but based heavily on your life as the first female Deputy Head Porter at a Cambridge college. What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Many thanks to Annette for the following review of my collection of poetry “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind”:
“I am so happy to have a copy of this book. Author. Kevin Morris, has such capture of the world around him and uses his command of words to craft poetry
that stimulates the senses. One of the poems in this volume, spoke to me specifically. Autumn Breeze made me smile, as I am an autumn born, baby and that
time of year always makes me smile. Congratulations, K. Morris, on a most delightful, though provoking book that I shall read again and again”.
On my way home from work yesterday evening, I passed a familiar block of flats. The evening was a pleasant one, with a warm summer sun warming me as I strolled past the familiar apartments. A ball was being kicked, it’s sound mingling with that of the birds which twittered overhead.
I could hardly believe that this self-same location had, in November 2015 prompted me to pen the below lines:
“My thoughts lost on the damp air
Going who knows where.
The sodden grass
Where children play
but not today.
or bird call.
Only the rain’s incessant fall”.
One might be tempted to construe that the difference in weather is the sole determinant of my mood. Had I written a poem yesterday evening it would, no doubt be marked by an absence of melancholy (in sharp contrast to the above lines). Doubtless the miserable state of the weather on that November day in 2015 influenced my poem. However my mood on that particular day was (for reasons which I can not now remember) one of introspection. The bleak weather combined with my state of mind, to produce “Lost” (the title of the poem quoted above).
It is interesting to speculate on how my poem may have differed had children been playing football despite the foulness of the weather. Would it have been quite so introspective in nature? Would I have written it at all? The honest response to both questions is that I don’t know. Perhaps I wouldn’t have written “Lost” or maybe a poem imbued with rather more light than darkness would have found it’s way onto my blog and (later) into my collection of poetry “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind”.
External factors such as the weather, combine with the poet’s state of mind to produce poetry. Of course rain is by no means always a source of melancholy. It refreshes the earth bringing out the scent of the wonderful plants with which England is blessed. Had I been walking in a park at the time of that November shower, with the scent of autumn leaves and the last of the summer flowers filling my nostrils, I may well have written a different poem, one characterised by a less melancholic tinge. However Autumn has the power to kindle melancholy irrespective of the state of the weather. The dead leaves underfoot signify the dying of the year and one is acutely aware that winter’s iron grip will soon be felt throughout the land. So who knows how my poem would have differed (assuming I had, in fact penned one) in the event the circumstances of that November day in 2015 had been different.
(For “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” please visit http://moyhill.com/lost/)
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
In this poem Thomas lies awake at night, listening…