Today is national poetry day in Ireland. I hope ye all enjoy it.
I wrote my first poem in Jan 88 at age 12.
Thank you Mrs O Sullivan, the English teacher who encouraged me that day!
And thank you everyone who has read, listened, encouraged ever since – far far too many to name.
I finished my most recent poem yesterday.
I have had a life beyond my wildest dreams, thanks to being born a poet, thanks to poetry.
I expect that the day the compulsion to write poetry leaves me will be the day I die.
Which is fine because when you subtract poetry from life – my life, anyone’s life, human life in general – there isn’t anything worth living for left.
Poetry invented us – our religions, our nations, our mythologies, our ideas of love, our political ideologies….all that makes us human comes from poets.
Poetry recites us, not the other way around.
It is the highest vocation, and the oldest one. It pre-dates ‘civilisation’ by millions of years, and if humans survive the coming collapse, it will survive along with them. Because the technology of poetry is the body, and soul. It needs nothing besides soul, tongue, and ear.
Poets don’t make lots of money, so they must be useless, nothing-people who have lost their souls will say.
People don’t pay for poetry, so it must be worthless, say those who have turned into nothing-people.
Not realising that all the most precious things in life are resistant to money, to commodification.
And that ‘you cannot serve two masters’. It’s either poetry or mammon. It cannot be both.
Do you pay to go to pray in your place of worship, or to visit the grave of a loved one?
Do you pay to look up at the stars and dream of other dawns and other lives?
Do you pay to look deep into the eyes of the one you love?
Love, worship, grief, remembrance, resistance, the dream of the lamb and the vision of the lion – these are the invaluable things that cannot be bought or sold, the uncommodifiable matter of poetry and the anti-business of the poet.
Check out Poetry Day Ireland here https://www.poetryireland.ie/poetry-day/
Join our Frontline Press celebration in The Cobblestone tonight https://www.facebook.com/events/1634249706942755
Free selection of my poems here https://www.davelordanwriterdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/the-four-honesties.pdf