'The Traveller' by Hannah Collins is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week
‘The Traveller’ by Hannah Collins is the new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week. Hannah, who teaches schoolchildren dance and exercise, says: “I like the way there are few boundaries when we write, unlike when we speak.” Her sources for inspiration include world events, "even small news items", She wrote her first poem, about Christmas, when she was 10. If pushed to name a favourite poet, hers would be the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
How long has poetry been an important part of your life, and can you remember why it became so?
I have always loved literature. I began writing short stories, even inventing them verbally for my younger brother when I was a child. When I was 10 years old I wrote my first poem, which was about Christmas. Poetry became important as a way of expressing myself and being creative.
What kind of poetry do you write? What motivates you?
I write about all subjects. I am sometimes inspired by world events, even small news items. I write in series sometimes, about urban myths, relationships, family, even supernatural occasionally! I am motivated to express myself, my feelings, ideas, memories. To record an event that may be forgotten otherwise. I believe poems, for example, about grief, can be helpful to others, to read and write.
If you could only have one poet’s work to read which one would you choose?
That is difficult to choose, just one - but I love the work of Carol Ann Duffy.
Do you perform your work and if so, where are your favourite places to perform?
I have been on internet radio a couple of times but usually I do not perform my work. Perhaps in the future ….
If you found yourself cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you pick?
My castaway luxury would probably be a typewriter.
by Hannah Collins
Sweet music drifts in through the open window
As he drifts in
Sits wearily down
Talks of all the drama, all the dreams
All the places he's been.
He's seen the frozen lakes,
The dolphins in the wild,
The bronzed mountains of Nepal
The string of precious pearls from the distant maldives.
Don't listen to him, they whisper,
He's a hypnotiser, a mesmeriser.
I know him from before.
But then my path was clear
The siren's song was fresh to hear,
The echo, calling, beckoning
With him towards the Stratosphere.
But now I see the open road through the window.
It's a road of sadness they say,
Especially with him to lead the way.
Winding, curving to who knows where.
The curtain blows idly, so lazily
In the soft Autumn breeze
And the traveller's eyes settle on me.
When all the others have had their fill of his tales
And have crept away,
I return as he knew I would.
His heavily stamped passport open on the floor,
Like an invitation to a never ending dance,
Waltzing with the empty visa of my life.
I want to leave with you, I say,
I want to escape.
His face is more weather beaten than I remember.
I sit before him and I say,
Everything that makes me stay, makes me want to get away,
When daybreak comes, I'll be leaving with you.
The traveller laughs quietly to himself,
He's heard it all before,
All before ...