The Willing Suspension of Disbelief & Poetic Fate

I don’t know whether it’s the passing of Brian Friel a week ago, or the fact its National Poetry Day. I met a former colleague in Waterstones and we exchanged some warm friendly words, a guy whose valuable contribution to the University ended when his research funding was withdrawn ten years or more ago.

He remarked when I asked him that he was doing nothing like what he used to do. When I told him what I was up to he said he would rather split a seagull feather and write with it than try to understand the vagaries of social media. In many respects I agree. By way of mitigation I told him I still use a fountain pen.

So in etching out my notes and thoughts onto a Moleskine notebook, tapping work into the notes on my iPhone and even dictating some important point to myself I manage to develop a tapestry that constitutes work. Ideas, thoughts, notes. Writing almost full formed before it is committed onto the page or more correctly typed into the computer.

The latest period of introspection has me wondering what have I done with this life I was given. And the gradual realisation that whilst what I have done I have had some successes, what I do isn’t necessarily what I enjoy doing, what I enjoy doing I don’t get paid for, and really what I should be doing is something different entirely.

As a student I floated through my degree in English, drifted onwards to Scotland achieving a Masters in Publishing that has defined my working life since.

Small things make a difference. In my experience reading poetry keeps me sane, though by judgement of others I have proved without doubt I can’t write it very well. “It is hard thing to write a poem.” Perhaps. Is that sentence missing the word ‘good’?

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