Poetry: Write, Read, Perform, Listen, Teach
Claudia Hammond’s ‘Mind Changers’ on Friday on BBC Radio 4 was about ‘Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs’. This was an unexpected and welcome treat for me while trapped on the M1 for two and a half hours of what is usually a 50 minute journey. After reviewing Maslow’s original ground-breaking hierarchy, the speakers began to explore needs beyond the fundamentals of food, shelter and love. One suggested that poets need rhymes. Do we though? Is it a common public perception of poets that our lives are incomplete unless we can round off a couplet, firm up a stanza, polish off a limerick or weave together a performance piece with a neat concordance of sound? Are we on the look out for internal rhymes too? When I’m drafting, I find that rhymes happen when I’m least expecting them. The sudden surprise of sound can be delicious and take me off in new directions. At other times it can be a distraction.