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Poetry is written for a world
where people like poetry.
I do not inhabit that world.
I have no interest
in poetry, only, occasionally,
in content. Content indistinguishable from form
has an authority
better than prose. Maybe.
Already the sentences broken
up in lines, the words are lifted
out of their
workaday normalcy - you have to
notice them. It is not
the afflatus of John Masefield
reading his poem 'Sea Fever' but
an afflatus occurs - probably the best
we in this age that does not know how to sing
can do.

To sing being
celebration and so implying
something to celebrate - the spring,
autumn, the bringing in
of the harvest, with the implied
possibility that the harvest will fail -
songs of loss, celebrating
what is lost - I sing
songs in praise of saints I don't believe
have helped me in the slightest.
My songs are theatre - maybe
the beauty keeps something alive,
that is my hope, but
this is not singing, not
poetry. Yeats
nailed it when he talked of his
'circus animals' -
"players and painted stage took all my love
and not those things that they were symbols of."

That is how we sing
these days, and that is why
we should not pretend
to poetry - we should be content
(those of us who search
for the 'things' themselves)
with cut-up prose.