Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Supplementary To The Previous Post

I've been writing poems since my late teens. There have been times in my life when I've written very few- and other times when I've written them at the rate of two or three a week. I was at my most prolific during the late 80s and early 90s. These days poems come along at the rate of one or two a year.

Poems can't be forced. They come when they want to come. I have found though that they can be elicited by prompts. One or two of my better efforts have come about because someone gave me a topic to deal with- and sometimes a topic I'd never have tackled otherwise.

T.S. Eliot said there was no such thing as a poet, there are only people who write poetry.  I think that's right. Poetry comes and goes. Just because you wrote poetry in your youth doesn't mean you'll go on writing it all your life. Eliot himself is a good example of a writer whose gift deserted him. He wrote great poems from youth through middle-age but the love poems he wrote for his wife in old age are embarrassing- and he must have known it because he held them back from publication.  Most Collected Works contain a good deal of filler.  To set yourself up as a poet and commit to turning out slim volumes on a regular basis is to ask for trouble.

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