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This is the blog of Oxford University Poetry Society, where you can get up-to-date news about our upcoming events and poetry readings, dates of poetry workshops, read contributors' poetry, and try a hand at writing your own...

Friday, 10 October 2008


Poetry is a personal thing; I've always seen it that way at least. I've never been able to write it without rawness, without some emotion bubbling away, pouring out into the words; pouring out like lifeblood into words, harsh words, beautiful words, words of hope and despair.
In a way, of the poems I've written, my favourite are the ones I would never show anyone, and the ones that no-one would ever really want to read. The ones that wouldn't be any good if judged. Yet I love the poems which are one place, one time, one specific time something ugly and beautifully real flowed out.

I've never understood the impulse to write in that way; why one would want to do it. Poetry is aesthetic, it can't be denied. Argue whatever you like, even the most confessional poet expresses themselves in precise and measured tones, or else there is no joy or pleasure in reading it. Yet I sometimes I write poems which agree with this basic rule in no way.
I think it provides a frame; it lets you control and manipulate primal gale-force winds. It's like turning a scream into clay on a potter's wheel.

I find that cathartic.

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