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Untitled poem

October 22, 2010

I have a dark and dreadful secret. I write poetry.

This is an embarrassing confession for an adult to make. In their idle hours Winston Churchill and Noël Coward painted. For fun and relaxation Albert Einstein played the violin. Hemingway hunted, Agatha Christie gardened, James Joyce sang arias and Nabokov chased butterflies. But Poetry?

I have a friend who drums in the attic, another who has been building a boat for years. An Actor I know is prouder of the reproduction eighteenth-century duelling pistols he makes in a small workshop than his is of his knighthood. Britain is a nation of hobbyists – eccentric amateurs, talented part-timers, Pooterish potterers and dedicated autodidacts in every field of human endeavour. But Poetry?

(Fry 2007)


I too write poetry. Not for publication (I don’t think it’s good enough yet, nor could I ever be dedicated to it enough to give it the time it deserves), nor for any other gain but my own satisfaction. I tend to write very sporadically and will probably take months if not years to finish a poem, coming back to it at strange and disparate times in my life, or whenever I have the time. I like a wide range of poets. From Betjeman to Yeats, I read poetry whenever I can and believe decent writers probably read more than they write. My time at university has been hugely helpful, both in shaping my tastes and informing my opinion.


This poem (you might guess) was written in the six month period after university when I was unemployed.


I am not a work-shy, deadeyed down-and-out;

I am not a shiftless, work-shirking social blight –

I am the forgotten, potless, workless young:

I am useless, voiceless youth.


I am the educated unemployed,

Undervalued and ignored,

Inexperienced and unprepared –

I am the idiot graduate


University-gowned, wide-eyed and world bound,

I am another jobhunter,

A fresh-faced work searcher

And, like my generation, dole bound.


There it is. If you do feel the need to comment, please don’t be unnecessarily kind; it won’t do anyone any good in the long run. Personally I think the beginning is better than the ending and that it works better if you read it slowly so the assonance stands out. Also the punctuation is very dodgy which I have, I assure you, agonised over for many hours. But as Oscar Wilde said: “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.”



  • Fry, Stephen (2007) The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking The Poet Within. London, Arrow Books
2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2010 7:37 pm


  2. October 23, 2010 7:38 pm

    Hello, how are you?
    you are invited to join our poetry community, a place for poets to share and encourage.
    Please check us out at:
    Jingle Poetry :
    Our Monday Poetry Potluck is open from Sunday 8pm to Wednesday, 8am.
    Write a poem fitting our week 7 theme (love and romance), post it, and link in to our potluck post as soon as we are open, that’s how you get the best possible feedback.
    We value your contribution and cherish your poetry talent.
    Let me know if you have further questions..Hope to see you then.

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