Poetry and illness

Thank you, friends and followers, for keeping me on your radar. I saw my doctor again today. I am unfit for work, require more investigations, and am currently switching to a new treatment regime. I am in great pain most of the time. What a beautiful October weekend it was: the end of the British summer, and the best weather of the year. I am deeply moved by love and friendship now - more even than art, it endures, and matters. I cannot imagine what I ever had to complain about - if I did. What I had, before this ill health came, was a great treasure. The treasure remains. A dear true love. One thinks of poets and illness - Keats the best known, and not just because of the new film, Bright Star, which I hear is superb. Dylan Thomas, too. Eliot's nerves. Plath. The list is long. I am not sure pain makes things better creatively, though Delmore Schwartz thought so. Be good to each other. Don't take poetry prizes too seriously - I suppose my two main messages. If I had a third, it would be: poetry can also be grandiloquent without need to apologise. Austerity, opacity, difficulty, strangeness, plainness, the ordinary, the demotic - it's all language. Poets try their best with it. Enjoy the light while it lasts.

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