[S]everal things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously — I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason —  Keats


Doubt of a room of poets

Doubt of abandoning the poem

Doubt of not sending out

Doubt of the disastrous reading

Doubt of your best work

Doubt of no one noticing

Doubt of picking up the pen

Doubt of the kitchen table

Doubt of not writing

Doubt of The Group

Doubt of silence

Doubt of your first book

Doubt when your friend wins a prize

Talent of Doubt

Faith vs Doubt vs Faith vs Doubt vs Faith

Making friends with the Doubt

Doubt of putting it all in then taking it all out again then putting it back in

Commas: Doubts…

Then doubt of Everything You Have Written

The car not starting is a kind of doubt

I bet Kenneth Koch knew Doubt

The Party Of Doubt

Doubt of my sleepless nights

Doubt of the reading that goes well

Doubt of sending out

The Anthology of Doubt

Cat of Doubt, Dog of Doubt, Monkey of Doubt

Doubt of your enemies

Doubt of your last book

Falling out with the Doubt

Doubt of knowing when to stop the

Facebook. Doubt,

Underneath the kitchen table also contains doubt

The Doubt that no one talks about

Doubt of your library frowning down at you

Death of Doubt

Doubt of no one noticing

It is Spring / but inside it is Doubt

Doubt, doubter, doubtfulness, doubting, doubters, doubted, doubtful, doubts, undoubtedly

(and outside the rain)

Doubt of which fountain pen today

nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen

Your children’s doubt

Doubt of forgetting your own name

Doubt of carrying on anyway


  1. Lovely. Captures the human condition, particularly the older human (I think I have a couple of years on you). I recently came across some interesting work on emotion and ageing by Laura Carstensen, examining the phenomenon that older people seem to be happier on average. Her research suggested that emotions become more complex as we get older: even happiness may have a bittersweet flavour, while sadness is tempered by the knowledge that it will probably pass. You poem has a whiff of that.


    1. Watcha Charlie
      I did not know that research. I will need to pursue it.
      I agree about the happiness/sadness/sweetness though. My experience exactly.
      And I’m so pleased you thought it was a poem. I suppose it is. It is second nature now to leave lots of white space, so that is how they come out (it is after Raymond Carver’s ‘Fear’ by the way). XX and love, A


  2. We need a little bit of doubt, but too much stops us from doing anything. Adults tend sometimes to doubt too much and end up stuck. I think there is a fine line between jumping into any kind of project and pondering too much. Nice reflection, Anthony, on a common human condition trait.


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