'Rowing' by Neil Robertson is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week
The new Write Out Loud poem of the Week is ‘Rowing’ by Neil Robertson, a poem about a relationship that has developed from schoolboy rivalry into teamwork in adulthood: " ‘You're doing well fella, keep it going’ / ‘Ok you take a breather for a sec’.” Neil Robertson says he values poetry “as a means of transcending the everyday”. His favourite poem is Song of Myself by Walt Whitman. He also admires Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost and Paul Farley.
What got you into writing poetry?
Since an early age I'd always enjoyed creative writing in some capacity. However, it wasn't until I studied English literature at college and then more extensively at nniversity that I realised the true value of poetry as a means of transcending the everyday. So essentially, what got me more and more into poetry was a much greater exposure to it. It's a very therapeutic exercise telling your story through poetry and an equally fulfilling experience to get a second-hand glimpse into the worlds of others.
How long have you been writing?
I have actually only properly been writing poetry for a few months. I had written other pieces here and there over the last few years but nothing like the kind of material I'm producing now. I've always been taken to another world when I write poems and I figured I may as well make use of the English degree I spent thousands of pounds on, so here I am!
Do you go to any open-mic nights?
No, but I intend to go to one very soon as the idea intrigues me greatly.
What’s your favourite poet/poem?
My favourite poem is Song of Myself by Walt Whitman and as for my favourite poet, it's a toss-up between Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost and Paul Farley - I like different aspects of their work.
You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?
An anthology of transcendental American poetry, a notebook to write some poetry, some cans of craft beer and my girlfriend (she'll thank me for that one, though maybe not for appearing last in the order!).
by Neil Robertson
The connotations were different
Back then - the days of SEGA Rally
On the PC. I got a right ear full
When I crashed at a bend and threw a strop
What came back makes me wince even now.
The documented exchange saw you sent
To the headteachers office for your sins.
The rally games eventually stopped,
The bickering dragged on a while longer.
My slipping grades; staying out too late;
No football channels in foreign hotels;
All brought out the worst in us.
In the blink of an eye, here we are
Reaping the benefits of our mistakes
I, almost ready to father offspring
You, not quite at the twilight phase, but close.
Once again we are at the centre of
A showcase, not of rivalry but
Teamwork, understanding - left, right, left, right
"You're doing well fella, keep it going"
"Ok you take a breather for a sec"
Waves have receded - the water, perfectly still
Rowing, but not as we know it
Gently down the stream - this is but a dream.