I’m very conscious that people dear to me are alive in my imagination – poets in particular.
The poet is on the side of undeceiving the world.
My language and my sensibility are yearning to admit a kind of religious or transcendent dimension. But then there’s the reality: there’s no Heaven, no afterlife of the sort we were promised, and no personal God.
In a way, Anglo-Saxon poetry cannot be translated.
Eternal life can mean utter reverence for life itself.
In poetry, everything can be faked but the intensity of utterance.
Memory has always been fundamental for me. In fact, remembering what I had forgotten is the way most of the poems get started.
One of the best descriptions of the type of writer I am was given by Tom Paulin, who described himself as a ‘binge’ writer – like a binge drinker. I go on binges.
Write whatever you like!
I’m a firm believer in learning by heart.