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Please include the word 'POETRY' in the subject line of any email you send.
Why write poetry, Poet?
Purely for the love of it, and no other reason!
Good poetry will sum up, in a few words, moods and emotions that stir the reader in a way prose cannot hope to emulate.
I enjoy the free-flowing style of poetry, and the fact that a wide variety of subjects can be tackled in a wide variety of ways.
It has also helped to get me out of doing the washing up: "Love to, but must catch the mood!"
Not that this works every time, but when it does....Doesn't work with shopping trips, I've noticed.
How did you get started writing poetry?
My father also wrote poetry, though mainly in the form of hymns and religious tracts.
My secular interest was sparked at school, where I had the good fortune to have an excellent English teacher.
He never laughed at my putative efforts, at least not in front of me, and encouraged me to read different poets.
He explained how to develop my ideas, however ridiculous they might sound, and told me that it was sometimes OK to bin a project, and start again.
This was AFTER I'd shown him a poem I'd written about St.George, which must have run to 9 million verses at least.
Who are your influences?
I'm a great lover of John Betjamen, always have been, though nonsense verse has a particular appeal to me.
Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and Spike Milligan were eagerly devoured at school, though I love the work of Robert Burns.
How that man could capture a mood! Also, it must be said, the 'poems' of the late, great, William McGonagall.
He only came to me later in life, which is just as well; he and Tracy Emin, between them, have showed the world how far you can get without
a single shred of talent. So has Tracy Emin's brother, Eminem.
What is your favourite poetic verse?
I wish I knew the name of it, but I don't.
Many years ago, when I was a member of a writer's group, one of the guys wrote a poem about a reluctant cricketer, who'd only gone to
the Cricket Club, on the day of a Championship match, to help with the teas.
One of the batsmen hadn't turned up, so the Captain rounded on him, and forced him to take part.
As I recall, our reluctant hero scored one run before getting clean bowled, (just before tea!), but took solace in the
fact that his team won a nail-biting contest by a single run, which he claimed was his. The opening lines begin thus:
"I hadn't meant to play cricket,
I hadn't intended to bat,
But the Captain said: 'You're Number Five!'
So that was that, was that!"
Sorry! What was the question again?
Who are the Scots?
Sir William Fettes (1750 - 1836) Merchant and philanthropist, who made his fortune from tea and wine. Left money to establish Fettes College (1870), which was designed by David Bryce. The College was intended for the education of poor and orphaned children, but is now one of Scotland's top private schools, although it still retains a tradition of scholarships for poorer children.