There are many definitions of poetry. One favourite is “news that stays news”. I use this to wriggle out of writing topical verse. Another favourite is “the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits” – Carl Sandburg, I think – which conveys the sense of the mundane meeting the unexpected and ineffable, plus half the effect is achieved by assonance of inths.

I entertain these thoughts because I’m on my way to Swindon to give a workshop. Not one of those seminar workshops where you hold forth as if you know something and take questions at the end. This is a bring pens and paper, roll your sleeves ...


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