Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stephen Fry on writing poetry

I believe poetry is a primal impulse within us all.  I believe we are all capable of it and furthermore that a small, often ignored corner of us positively yearns to try it.  I believe our poetic impulse is blocked by the false belief that poetry might on the one hand be academic and technical and on the other formless and random.  It seems to many that while there is a clear road to learning music, gardening or watercolours, poetry lies in inaccessible marshland: no pathways, no signposts, just the skeletons of long-dead poets poking through the bog and the unedifying sight of living ones floundering about in apparent confusion and mutual enmity.  Behind it all, the dread memory of classrooms swollen into resentful silence while the English teacher invites us to “respond” to a poem.

-- Stephen Fry, author of The Ode Less Travelled (h/t the poem elf)

1 comment:

Wally B said...

That is so true. It took me years to shrug off the shackles of embarrassment that were trailing around after me every time I tried to put words onto paper.