On Writing Poetry

Having little to say is the worst thing that can happen to a writer. Sometimes you suffer long periods of silence, long periods when the words are sleeping, cradled deep in your chest. But then just as suddenly an image comes, a rare sighting like furniture rising from the sea, coming to you in little fragments, flashes, which is the worst part of this draught. You try to write what you’ve seen, try to work out its inner logic, its drama, what these appearances might actually mean but sometimes you get to it so late in the day that you’re too tired. Or the inspiration just isn’t there, filling you with that odd energy or stamina you need. When the elements won’t cohere, you ask yourself, What was there? And is it gone now?

My only gift to myself right now is to wake up. To rouse. To think in fully formed thoughts. To string them together and create a portrait of truth.

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