A History of Gay Poetry, 3: Crossing the Rubicon

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Three poets of the twentieth century, all of whom were self confessed gay men, crossed the rubicon as the day of liberation dawned. A E Housman, W H Auden and Allen Ginsberg. Three very different people from diverse backgrounds and quite unconnected.

From the gloomy years of war and austerity they braved the storm of homophobia to emerge as fully recognised and professional writers. Auden (pict...

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Poetry Reflections

The Enduring Appeal of the Sonnet Form

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A sonnet, as we are usually told, is a poem of fourteen lines, usually iambic, with a rhyme scheme and recognisable structure. Looking into the history of this well-known poetic form, we may also learn of the Shakespearean and Petrarchan varieties, which, although rather different, also share a set ...

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Poetry Reflections

Kyle McCall Wilson Hopes You Are Okay

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When it was suggested that I should write about one of my poems, two came to mind instantly.  One was political and to be honest I don’t think I’m educated enough to really have a discussion about pol...

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Poetry Reflections

Poetry and the Affirmation of Life

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The impulse to write poetry, for me, begins with a crisis of meaning. I use the word crisis in the original Greek sense of making a decision (krisis). One is faced with the possibility that nothing is...

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Poetry Reflections

Prose, Poem, or Prose-Poem? Does it Matter?

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One area of contemporary poetry that interests me is a blending of familiar categories, especially what’s usually defined as prose and what’s usually defined as a poem. Each of the terms suggest a set...

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Poetry Reflections

Language on the Side of Freedom

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Language is of course the point when it comes to a poetry festival, not stars or trends but what writers on the stage are doing with words. In a time when the deep impact of colonialism and empire is ...

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Poetry Reflections

Contentment, Creativity and Cracks

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The concept of cracks may seem a strange subject for contemplation, but these overlooked creatures of absence are often the constructive features that frame our existence. Even though many of us are a...

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Poetry Reflections

The Poetry of Spirituality

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The poetry associated with or originated from the many forms of spirituality is vast indeed, stretching back into the centuries of antiquity and embracing all religions and none. It is a treasure hous...

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Poetry Reflections

Omphalos 3: Being Home

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In the final part of a series of articles exploring the idea of omphalos, or the origin of the poet’s imagination, I asked poet and academic Gail Ashton (author of Ghost Songs and The Other Side of Gl...

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Poetry Reflections

Countries of the Mind

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Following my recent article on WOL about the idea of omphalos, I spoke with award-winning poet Yvonne Reddick (pictured) and asked for her thoughts on this. Her poetry pamphlet, Translating Mountains,...

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Poetry Reflections

There's Always Time For Some Ogden Nash

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Emotion carries weight much like a tackle box but unlike a tackle box, it should not be reserved solely for the good times. There are so many events that happen in people’s lives to write poetry about...

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Poetry Reflections

Poets: Voices of Prophecy and Custodians of Truth

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Poetry is often the voice of courage, found in every generation, a voice which often exposes the truth and challenges the times in which we live.  It can also be the voice of prophecy which has as its...

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Poetry Reflections

Omphalos: A Return to the Source of Poetry

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Omphalos: A Return to the Source of Poetry

‘I would begin with the Greek word, omphalos, meaning the navel, and hence the stone that marked the centre of the world, and repeat it, omphalos, omphalo...

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Poetry Reflections

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