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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