What’s the worst thing a poet can do?

The poet should never be without a notepad.  The note pad is an artery.  You feel it beating.  You’re heart quickens each time you pick up the pen and write. Electrocardiograph lines spread across the monitor. You are healthy, alive and well.

In fact you feel so healthy today that you don’t need to write so impulsively.  You alight on  an idea  but this time you decide that  you’ll write it later when you get home or  when you are less busy.     When you are less busy you are relaxing.  Any inkling of an idea has gone.  You get an itch though, a new itch, open skin.  Multiply this. Ideas are fast and fleeting things. The itch becomes an open cut.    This is the beginning of the end. It’s critical.  Carry a notepad.

2 thoughts on “What’s the worst thing a poet can do?

  1. Message for Lemnos: Really looking forward to catching up with Lemn in Sri Lanka after a good many years. I worked with Lemnos in South Africa & Ireland during my British Council postings there. Long time ago but still have a vivid memory of Lemn’s burning passion and sheer intensity, overflowing at time into anger & rage – all channeled wonderfully into his work and performances. I’m Director of the British Council in Sri Lanka now. Will meet Lemn at the Galle Literary Festival this evening. Curious to see if he’s mellowed at all with age – as most of us do. Delighted to read about his work with children – giving back to a new generation of potential Lemn Sissays or Benjamin Zephaniyas. See you at the Sun House tonight Lemn. Hope you bring the house down! Tony

  2. Lemn brought the Sun House down in Galle last night. Hasn’t lost any of his intensity & passion – thankfully. Has he mellowed? Not really. More comfortable in his own skin perhaps. Sharper, more incisive. But he hasn’t sold out to pay the mortgage yet. Thank god.

    Really lovely to see you again Lemn. Special. Where next?

    Take care


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