from ARS POETICA (by John Heath-Stubbs)

One thing imprimis I would have you remember:
Your poetry is no good
Unless it move the heart. And the human heart,
The heart which you must move,
Is corrupt, depraved, and desperately wicked.

***

You have got to make the language say
What is has not said before;
Otherwise, why bother – after a millennium
(And a bit more) of English poetry – and you a wren
Rising from the eagle’s back?
Work against language. It is your enemy.
Engage in a bout with it,
But like a Japanese wrestler
You will overcome by not resisting.

***

So through patience, perseverence, luck and that sort of thing
(I can only wish you luck)
You may arrive at an actual poem –
An interjected remark
At a party which has been going on
For quite some time (and will, we trust, continue);
A party at which you are not
A specially favoured guest
And which you will have to leave before it is over.

Let us hope the others will occasionally recall it.

But to you it will seem a little world.
You will look at your creation and see that it is good.
In this you will be mistaken;
You are not, after all, God.

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