‘I’ve got some good news,’ the book says. ‘I’ve just written ten new poems.’

‘Wow, that’s great,’ I say. ‘Are they any good?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, are they any good? Are they doing something, saying something, in a new way? Should I be bothered with them?’

‘But they’re new poems! They’re great. They’re going to be. They’re new poems!’

‘New isn’t the same as good.’

‘But I’ve just written them.’

‘I know. I know. But we’ll have to see. They might be great. But they might be rubbish.’

‘But they’re new. New. New poems. I wrote them really quickly, in a kind of burst. I thought you might be pleased.’

‘I am pleased. Genuinely. Really I am. But we can’t say much at the moment, can we? You might have been just producing. Or treading water. Or writing sheer balls of course. We won’t really know for while. That’s the way it goes.’

‘But they’re new. New poems. I thought you would be excited.’