Poems are a hotline to our hearts, and we forget this emotional power at our peril
I don't want my poems to be sentimental, though I do acknowledge that sentiment is probably rather under-reported in a lot of people's feelings a lot of the time.
I write between 5.30am and 9.00. That way, I hope I carry over something from my dream time.
I am a vigilant monarchist. I want to see things evolve. The direction the monarchy seems to be moving in - towards a more mainland-European model - is one I would feel sympathetic about.
But Wordsworth is the poet I admire above all others.
Honor the miraculousness of the ordinary.
While also, importantly, not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of 'difficult' poetry are over, because we live in a pluralist culture and there's room for 'difficult' poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won't be for everyone, but everyone should have the choice.
Like a lot of people, for a long time I thought that the road to hell is paved with bad sequels.
Jenni Fagan is the real thing, and The Panopticon is a real treat: maturely alive to the pains of maturing, and cleverly amused as well as appalled by what it finds in the world.
In a fragile environment, we need to be aware of ourselves as members of a uniquely powerful species living among other species who are quite as interesting as we are but vulnerable to us because we are cleverer in more destructive ways.
I shall try to write a poem that is about the moment but doesn't betray things that are true to me as a poet.
I read ' Treasure Island' for the first time at university. And I started to notice then how unresolved some things were. Later, I realised that Stevenson was interested in sequels, and I wondered whether he would have gone back to it had he lived longer.
I like eating out. I like buying beautiful paintings and being surrounded by beautiful things. I have to finance that life. I can barely afford a pension scheme because I don't make enough money.
I get up at 5.30am, sluice myself and have two Weetabix and some mint tea, before starting to write by 6am.
I deeply adored my mum. She was an extraordinary person, even for the prejudice I'm likely to have. She was beautiful, amusing, a tremendous elaborator of things into comic proportions and extravagant in her imagination.
I am writing more than I have ever done. My life has come back to me in the most extraordinary way.
Each sudden gust of light explains itself as flames, but neither they, nor even bombs redoubled on the hills tonight can quite include me in their fear.
But in a lot of ways my poems are very conventional, and it's no big deal for me to write a poem in either free verse or strict form; modern poets can, and do, do both.
But I can't and don't ever want to write bell-yanking confetti-tossing hat-throwing poems.
I'm ensuring my place in heaven.
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