For years the only two poetry books I owned were my dad's old 'Penguin Book of Comic and Curious Verse' and Palgrave's Golden Treasury. I still have them - look!
remember a time when I didn't want to write. We are an erudite family and I
learned early the rewards (laughter, approval) of saying something clever or
funny. But I've always vacillated from one end of the poetry (and fiction) spectrum: 'Henry, Who Chewed Bits of String...' to 'On the Tombs of Westminster Abbey' at the other and often find myself uncomfortable straddling the two.
Perhaps this is where creativity is
found... in the awkward middle ground between the comic and curious, between documented history and imagined future, between madness and sanity, knowledge and mystery, confusion and
certainty, conscious thought and dream state?
When I perform a poetry set, I mix it up, offering - I hope - something for every taste, varying the pace, and this seems to go down well. I'm currently trying to put a poetry collection together and it's proving tricky to pull off that blend on paper. People ask me whether I have a collection, whether they prefer the comic or the serious and I don't want to disappoint, so I'm ploughing on because I think at the end you have to be yourself.
What do you think? Does anyone else have this problem - is it even a problem?