You want to see quality journalism returned to the world? Make a conscious decision to stop clicking on any headline that ends with some variation of "and then something amazing happened"* or "the truth will shock you"*. These are invariably links to user-generated content that requires no journalism whatsoever to locate, just the ability to click and scroll through endless Youtube videos, Vimeos and social media posts. Any schoolkid could do that. (*Spoiler alert: it's not a
Yet if any man who has received the gift of poetic fervor shall imperfectly fulfill its function here described, he is not, in my opinion, a praiseworthy poet. For, however deeply the poetic impulse stirs the mind to which it is granted, it very rarely accomplishes anything commendable if the instruments by which its concepts are to be given shape are deficient. -- Boccaccio, Giovanni. Genealogy of the Gentile Gods, Book IV, Chapter VII: “The Definition of Poetry, Its Origin,
ME: I should probably write new stuff
ME: To stay relevant
ME: How does that work then?
ME: I need to write new poems that people haven't read before so they know I'm paying attention to the world and giving them what they want.
ME: Right. How's that working out for you?
ME: It's pretty exhausting, to be honest. I've got quite a lot of old poems that more or less cover what I want to say, because frankly there's not a great deal that's new happening in
On my desk this morning* sits “Collected Australian Verse”, “Banjo Paterson’s People” and “Joe Wilson’s Mates” by Henry Lawson. Underneath those, loved but not revered, are “The Plays and Poems of Oscar Wilde” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare”. I had to put Ginsberg in the cupboard. Larkin’s on my bedside table and the bookshelves are full. I don’t remember the first poem I read, or even the first poem I wrote. I remember being five or six and reciting Banj
A symbol is another one of those lovely shortcuts to meaning that poets are so fond of, a word or image that represents an idea. If you don't "get" all of the symbols in a poem, you should still be able to read and appreciate the poem -- but picking up on these little abstractions can really enrich your interactions with a text. Of course, symbolism isn't unique to poetry, but permeates every part of our lives... we just don't necessarily notice it. Being a good reader of p
It is less than two months since I last swore off writing poems. I still have not written a poem, unless you count a couple of rude limericks and a rather angry verse that repeated the word "fuck" several times but didn't really say much else. So, no poems. The world has not fallen apart. But I have. I've still carried on life much as always, making sure that I get information from myriad sources on as many subjects as possible to stay informed and ahead of the game if po
With the prose novel so firmly entrenched as the fiction writer’s main outlet these days, it’s easy to forget – or to never have known – that the novel is a relative newcomer on the writing scene, less than five hundred years old and only really popular in the last two hundred. When you consider that the earliest known narrative poem is probably over 3000 years old, the novel is a positive half-millennium-old baby. So, what is a narrative poem and how do you write one?