Tag Archives: verse

Andrew Motion’s Top 10 Tips For Being A Successful Poet

A very good piece by Sir Andrew Motion, former UK Poet Laureate, in which he gives his top 10 tips for being a successful poet. I particularly agree with his view that poets should not cut themselves off from the world or, as he puts it “live in an ivory tower”. I also agree with Motion that its important to read lots. For the article please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-29538180.


Ships Slide

Ships slide
And collide
At night when the tide
Is high.

Have been left high
And dry
When the tide is gone.

Ships sail on
And I will find sport
At a different port
And ride
The tide
Though it cause me pain.

The Sword Of Damocles

Can the poet avoid the Sword of Damocles
Suspended above his head
By the thinnest thread?
His pleas
To those who he has offended
That he is merely speaking the truth
Will not prevent
The descent
Of sword from roof.

The poet’s curse
Is to write verse
That will
Sometimes chill
His readers to the heart.
They will traduce
Him for his art,
But the sword of truth
He must brandish high
Else he will die

I Beg You!

“Don’t say its not expensive, unless you are going to buy it. I beg!”.

I overheard this snatch of conversation as I walked through the churchyard, on my way to the office yesterday. The oddity of the young woman’s mode of expression struck me. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, that had I wish to convey what the lady expressed, I would have done so rather differently. “I beg you, don’t say that its not expensive unless you are going to buy it”, perhaps. Indeed the use of the word “beg” struck me as being rather extreme and, on reflection I considered its employment to be unnecessary. “Don’t say its not expensive, unless you are going to buy it” would, I thought, have been my choice of words.

However, on giving the above further consideration, it struck me that we poets play with language all the time. In order to obtain a rhyme we express ourselves in ways that would be considered as odd where they to be used in our every day conversation. So, for example the poet will say
“The weather is drear
And none save my dog is near”.
While where he to express a similar sentiment in conversation with a friend, his use of language would more likely run along the following lines
“The weather is terrible, and I’m alone here, with only my dog for company”. But, of course the former would constitute poetry while the latter would not.

Perhaps the young lady I overheard yesterday is a budding poet. I hope so.

Some Thoughts On My Writing And On Poetry More Generally

I am linking to a post on “Rhyme”, in which I answer questions regarding my poetry and those writers who have exerted an influence on my work.

I appreciate that some of my readers are already familiar with this article. However, for those who are not, I hope my interview on Rhyme will be of interest to you, https://rhymepoetry.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/interview-with-kevin-morris/