Back to The Gods index
Previous poem


I do not experience
poetry as an art.
Painting, yes, but not
poetry. Having read
John Masefield's Dauber though
I know there is an art
of poetry - a great art - but
I do not possess it.
Would it be too cheap,
too facile - inartistic indeed -
to conclude
that it possesses me?
'It' possessed Masefield, he
was the servant of his art, but I
experience poetry
more like a sort of
change in the weather, a changing
horses in midstream, as another
poet put it. But
I do not mean
'inspiration', 'revelation', no,
the stream is of this world,
the rhythm of the words, the current
carry me along, and the horses
too might be
Plato's horses, the
disciplined and undisciplined,
and they might have
a different destination - so that the poem
is indeed a revelation,
not of something Other,
but of my own soul's
battle with the river.

{The change in the weather etc refers to Bob Dylan's song You're a big girl now. Plato's horses from the Phaedrus]

                                                                  Next poem - Yellow Rectangles