I think, I think it’s a, it’s a kind of exercise, like physical exercise
I mean, I write about love and war and loneliness and, and, and God, and I, I write, um, because I think, you know, once I also used to say that poetry is not only useful for the funeral or for the commemoration, but it is very helpful there
You, you go for a walk, you go for a run and you get into shape. I mean, you need to li- be limber, you know, and, and limber and free your mind and, and get it moving and, and get thoughts flowing and, and move about the day and move about the page in the same way with your, with your pen. Um, or with your, or, or typing. I mean, I do, I admit, I write a lot of poems directly on a, on a laptop or an, or on a phone and then transfer them to the laptop. But of course, traditionally I used to write on paper and I still do occasionally. It’s, it is helpful for yourself, but it also helps heal the frayed bonds that have been, that have been broken, or that have been, uh, challenged within the society, within the social fabric.
The, the advice I would give is just, is, is to, is to, if, if you feel inspired to write poems, um, don’t limit yourself, you know, don’t feel that this is a, a minor matter or a minor art or something that, um, is just helpful for yourself
I listen to the music outside in the, in the birds song and in the air, the movement, the rustle of the wind, uh, I mean there are, there are rhythms and, and, and, and echoes that all around us as we go about our days both inside the home and outside walking. Often my poems come from walking. I’m walking and the lines , um, start to come to me to the rhythm of the, the steps, you know, so it’s a walking rhythm that I, that I find, um, writing in. Um, I write about anything and everything. But it goes much beyond that, I mean, poetry, um, I believe does make something happen.
W.H. Auden used to say, wrote once, poetry makes nothing happen. It exists in the valley of its saying, a way of happening, a mouth. I’ve always railed against that phrase. I mean, I love Auden’s poetry, but I railed against the idea that poetry is essentially useless. I think poetry is, uh, uh, a kinda word music, just like the guitar interprets music, creates music or the piano. So the voice and, and the, and the mind writing through the fingers creates, um, uh, taps into the music that, of, of ordinary speech. Um, I, I’m very much connected to music, uh, word music in poetry
I do believe that, uh, rhythms and rhymes and melody and so on are all part of the poetic utterance, yeah, or poetic speech. So I write about everything, and ev- anything. There isn’t a subject I haven’t tried writing about. Sometimes I write a poem about a subject that I know a little about, and then I have to research and I learn more about the subject. And then, uh, and then it becomes part of the poem. Um, so it’s a act of discovery, it’s a movement towards discovering something about the world you want to share with your fellow man or woman, or, um, in your community. For me, a poem doesn’t have any importance if it’s only written for myself. It, it belongs, it, it no longer belongs to me once it’s written, once it’s shared once it’s published once it’s broadcast, once it’s read. Yeah.