I suspect that my sudden flurry of activity on this blog is prompted by procrastination as I indulge in a series of displacement activities to avoid writing the aforementioned essay on Mansfield and Grassic Gibbon. I am an extremely lazy person and academic essays, like creative writing (5% inspiration and 95% perspiration?), are hard work. Anyway, I’ve wheeled out another of my poems whilst trying to work out my position on what literature is for. Gibbon was motivated by strong political feelings as was I when I wrote ‘Unidentified’ although the stimulus was a room in Solent University where I attended a tutorial for a creative writing course. I tend to agree with Auden that poetry changes nothing but it is one way of relieving frustration. Currently, what I write is far less political, but I do believe that literature should engage with reality. To hammer home the ‘message’ I’ve appended a haiku.
I know a place where no one goes by choice:
Torture has no echo from padded walls;
Where fear counterbalances reason’s voice
And people stop meeting in clubs and halls.
Confined within corridors of the mind,
Where blinds block windows and there is no door,
Statesmen and diplomats hide behind
Casements of argument and gates of law.
I know a place where no one knows your name:
No history; no deeds to leave a mark;
Advancing armies lack a paradigm;
The curtain of motive is ripped apart
Within this place a monstrous fungus grows
Scattering spores where nobody knows.
and terrorised – visualize
a two-way mirror.