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...


So... I hear your a poet...

How old were you when you first realised you had a talent for writting poetry?

What aspects of Wilfred Owen's poem influences your writing , if any ?

I heard Jackie Kay last night and she was reading her poems about identity. What do you think about her poetry?

Granted you are researching Wilfred Owen, so you may be a little biased, Who is your favourite war poet and why?

three questions, did you go to university, and if so did it greatly affect what you consider to be the quality of your poetry?, 2: is there any money to be made as a poet. 3: do you fancy writing us a couple of verse, just so we could see how spontaniously talented you are?

Do you think it could be considered honorable to die for your country or it's ideals, and if so, is there a difference between that and what was asked of Owen and his compatriots in WW1?

what shoe size are you?

I think everyone needs some time to reflect and organise their thoughts, if not the work would become distorted and you would lose your point of view through distraction.

What is your favourite poem by Wilfred Owen, and why?


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A particularly audacious metaphor or simile used to compare very unlike things.

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