I write in that space between Ella’s childhood and mine. I know it all sounds a bit sinister.
If we think of what’s up ahead, with climate change and wars over water, it’s very frightening.
The moment of inspiration can come from memory, or language, or the imagination, or experience – anything that makes an impression forcibly enough for language to form.
Christmas is taken very seriously in this household. I believe in Father Christmas, and there’s no way I’d do anything to undermine that belief.
I grew up in a bookless house – my parents didn’t read poetry, so if I hadn’t had the chance to experience it at school I’d never have experienced it. But I loved English, and I was very lucky in that I had inspirational English teachers, Miss Scriven and Mr. Walker, and they liked us to learn poems by heart, which I found I loved doing.
Poetry and prayer are very similar.
When a father, absent during the day, returns home at six, his children receive only his temperament, not his teaching.
The transition from dictatorship to democracy is always very difficult, and if you read a history of any country that went through this, it wasn’t easy. And, you know, you don’t end dictatorship one day and next day you have fully fledged democracy.
By the time a man is 35 he knows that the images of the right man, the tough man, the true man which he received in high school do not work in life.
My prose is turgid, it just hasn’t got any energy.