Expression, Art, Existence

The great thing about being a full-time writer is occasionally seeing my work appear in print. In this case, Moral Purpose Poem appears in print and online in issue 139, October 2007.

Martin Holroyd selected this poem way back in August out of a group of 6 I wrote way back in May. It’s not a gloomy poem, but it is about gruesome images in print, and it does ponder the role of the poet, as a lot of my poems do.

I don’t like second hand poetry, ie poetry that is a response to the media, which this is. But in this case, I feel that most poets would run miles rather than address a ‘moral purpose’. After all, most poets’ purpose seems to be to themselves. For example, I’m not a subscriber to Poetry Monthly, but I soon will be. It’s a great magazine, and here’s Martin’s fantastic introduction:

Well said, Martin. If you can’t read the quote from Martin, the bit I’m talking about is, “poets with regular acceptances in this publication who do not offer to subscribe or resubscribe must feel that it is not a very good magazine…” Come on, poets, put your money where your mouths are.

The meanness of poets never fails to impress me. Can there be another genre that develops meaner artists? I think not. A painter has to buy materials, and pay for gallery space, but a poet has to pay for nothing. Is it that the poet is so scared of the dreaded word vanity, that they will pay out nothing? I doubt whether they are penniless. Just the opposite. Most poets own vast houses and huge cars, and use their cars above any other form of transport when there is a whiff of being able to read their great works to the public. Art is an expression of your own existence, but if it was down to poets, art would cease to exist.

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