Excellent Eyewear

Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Thursday, 4 January 2007

Thanks are due to Todd Swift, whose witty and informative blog Eyewear (http://www.toddswift.blogspot.com) is featuring a new poem of mine from this Friday (5th January ’07) till next. I highly recommend his blog for anyone interested in contemporary UK (and indeed, world) poetry; it includes insightful comments on recently published collections, updates on prizes, awards, readings and other happenings in the poetry world, a featured poet each Friday, as well as occasional film and music reviews. I’d also recommend buying Life Lines: Poets for Oxfam, a recording of nearly 70 poets reading their work, edited by Todd. It includes such huge talents as Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, and Andrew Motion, as well as readings from emerging poets such as Melanie Challenger, Owen Sheers, and Nick Laird. And what’s more, all the profits from the sale of the CD, available from Oxfam shops nationwide, go to Oxfam’s work. A worthwhile buy if ever there was one.

The poem featured on Eyewear is ‘Byroads’, a sequence that’s gone through an extensive number of drafts, but I think (or at least hope) it's been worth the effort. I won’t say much more, as I hope what the poem’s trying to achieve is clear enough, and if it isn’t, I or it, something, failed. You decide. A particularly memorable aphorism from Don Paterson’s Book of Shadows springs to mind:
… we should stop defending [our work] this minute, that it might sooner learn its self-sufficiency.
Couldn't agree more.