I was beginning to think I was in danger of becoming more publisher than poet, but, thank goodness, I’ve written a new poem today, just in time for tomorrow’s critical group in North Berwick. Last month Writer-in-residence Brian Whittingham suggested a theme, and I thought it would be difficult – as it was – but I have kept to it, and in the short, declarative sentences he suggested. In the process of writing it, and of editing another poem, I’ve acquired beginnings for two more poems, so I’m happy with that.
In a forum elsewhere I recently calculated how many finished poems I’ve written in the last 24 years (there is a reason for 24, but I won’t go into it just now), and it averages one every two weeks, just over 600 in total. In the year to date, which at one point I thought was going to be a lean one, I’ve ‘finished’ 40 poems. So the publishing side hasn’t taken over my life to the exclusion of everything else.
Why do I put ‘finished’ in quotes? Quite. Well, I mean they are complete, not fragments or notes. That’s not to say I might not revisit and revise them – I’ll definitely do that for some – but that for the moment they stand as they are.
Speaking of publishing, here’s Judith Taylor’s cover. The poems are about ghosts, mostly in grand houses. I think it fits.