I still don’t know how the poet began. I do know I loved songs as a child. I still can remember the church hymns from even before I went to school. I can remember nursery rhymes. I can remember even the pop music (Van Morrison’s The Way Young Lovers Do!). But when it comes to poetry, I draw a complete blank.
Nope, not even primary school. Nor even much of high school. It happened by complete coincidence. I was leafing through an English resource book, stories, comprehension exercises, etc, and two poems.
The first was “Sea Fever” by John Masefield. I can still recall most of it now. I loved the rhythm and vision of it. But it didn’t intrigue as much as the second poem. That has all the blame. John Milton’s “On His Blindness.”
I read it. I was moved and so perplexed. I harassed my mother to explain it to me. And the last line knocked me flying. As poetry does. So few words, So much said. So much left unsaid.
I tried rolling my own for a while after that. What i wrote was quite wordy and unschooled I suppose. But when I re-read them recently, I was astounded. For the same person then, was the same person now who wrote them! Yet in between then and now was a very long furlough. Tinged by a mysterious frustration that wasn’t entirely satisfied when I wrote (non-fiction). True it was satisfied by short stories and still is. But there were other notes calling me.
Yes my muse has waited patiently for my return. “They also serve who only stand and wait. ”