Thank you to Mairi for your nomination. Here are my answers to some very tough questions, which made me think about things I haven’t stood beside for many years.
Why did you start your blog?
A poem without an audience is like a flower without a garden.
What has the blog experience brought you so far?
New connections, new thoughts, new daydreams.
How do you go about writing…what’s your process?
I write poems to illustrate or shine a light upon an issue I care about, a thing I love or a person who inspires me to words. Firstly I think about what I want to say and how I want to say it. Sometimes directness has an impact whilst other times imagery feels right. Once I start, the poem will usually build quickly to a first draft, both in structure and style. If the poem is about a nascent issue I will sometimes release an unedited version in order to ride the zeitgeist. More usual, I will go through several revisions to refine the metre and tone, and to remove unnecessary words. Then, I release it to the wild.
What is your favourite quote and why?
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
Nelson Mandela. I try to live my life this way.
Where do you go to find peace and beauty?
To the love of my beautiful, wonderful wife.
What is your greatest passion?
When was the last time you cried and why?
Last week, when watching The Green Mile, because I allow film to yank my chains.
What do you admire most in other people?
Honesty and trust.
What random acts of kindness have you carried out or experienced lately?
Sadly none recently.
Which politician do you admire if any?
No longer with us but, Nelson Mandela. Perhaps the only truly altruistic politician ever.
What is your favourite poem and why?
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
With poetry we aim for the very heart of the message and we try to say what needs to be said in an economical yet engaging way. In “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Robert Frost conveys the beauty of childhood in the first four lines and in the following four, the terrible truth that the golden beauty of childhood is but a fleeting glimpse of perfection.