For some months now I’ve been posting some of my older published poems on my other blog, Poems and Happenings. It came about because I’d been re-reading my first two collections Thirteen Ways of Looking At the Highlands (Diehard, 1996) and Seven Senses (Diehard 2000). They’re both now out of print but available from Amazon as Kindle editions. The other blog, focussing on one poem at a time, gives me the chance to be a bit discursive, giving the background and context to the poems. Why did I write this particular poem? What’s the story? I suppose it takes the place of the poem introductions at readings, but as those who know me will recognise, I can’t stand poets who give long rambling introductions to their poems. The poem has to be complete in itself, on the page and in performance. It shouldn’t need an explanation.
So these blog postings are definitely not explanations. To understand a poem, read or listen to the poem. It should be its own explanation. And if it doesn’t work on these terms; if it’s too complex, or carries too great a weight of philosophical justification, it’s a bad poem. The blog gives the context that you don’t need to understand the poem, but you might find it interesting nevertheless. And it seems that some readers are sufficiently interested to like or comment.
I’ve concentrated mainly on these first two books, because the poems may be hard to find in print. But now my third Diehard book, Sushi & Chips, is about to go out of print. I don’t have many copies left in stock, and I may very well start posting poems from it in Poems and Happenings. I’ll probably do a Kindle edition of it next year some time, but if anyone wants a copy, it can be ordered post-free from the Calder Wood Press website.