Hello everybody from me, Paul (Farley, the poet)
Paul Farley - 28 September 2006
Welcome to my residency! I wanted to try and make this whole thing as 'direct' as I possibly could, and encourage you all to ask me questions about poetry, poems, a poem or poet you admire, my poems... I'd like it if you were frank. I don't want to hide behind a big quote and ask you to discuss it. I've no idea how much poetry, contemporary or otherwise, you've been reading, but this is your chance to ask that question: don't waste it.
I'm re-reading Wilfred Owen at the moment because I'm presenting a programme about him for the BBC in November. It's led me to wonder about where we imagine poems get written. With Owen - in fact, with all the War Poets - I'd imagined, when I was younger, that he wrote in a shell hole or from a trench between raids... But it wasn't really like that. He drafted and worked on many of his most famous poems in a tiny attic room in Ripon, up in Yorkshire! I visited it recently: very strange to be stood under the skylight where 'The Send-Off' and 'Futility' were written. It seems as if he needed a place and a space in which to sit and reflect and write: don't we all? You know that Wordsworth line - 'emotion recollected in tranquility'? - well, it seemed to work that way for Owen. Does it work that way for you? Something to think about... But you can ask me about anything poetry-related, like I say. Looking forward to meeting you all in cyberspace. Speak to you then...