For various reasons, it’s been a while since I’ve published anything here. I’d like to get back into it, but I also want to see if I can get more out of it – for myself and for anyone who finds it.
On the one hand, I’m wary of trying to be too focused. After all, one of the things that makes a blog a blog, if it’s just you writing, is that’s its unplanned. On the other, the blank screen is as intimidating as the blank page. It helps to have a sense of what you’re trying to do.
(Also: however personally fulfilling it might be, keeping all your options open tends to be a pretty inefficient way of finding readers, who tend to want to know what to expect.)
On reflection, there are a few themes I keep coming back to.
The first is simple: personal responses to individual poems. These are what got me blogging to begin with. They continue to get more hits than anything else on here, so perhaps there’s a demand. The truth is they are somewhere between a response and an analysis, which may explain why people find them (they’ve Google-searched the poem, looking for something more authorative).
But they are personal, too, if only because I’ve chosen to write about these poems. I increasingly think sharing your enthusiasm for individual poems is central to what this thing called poetry is, and probably the best way to keep the love of it alive (if you believe E. M. Forster, the only way). I enjoy them, too.
I’ll try and add a new one every few weeks or so. They will be significantly shorter than they were during lockdown. I might (controversially) include some songs, too.
As for the other themes – I’ll get to those later.
The header is taken from the print ‘Special edition’ (1936) by Ethel Spowers.