Why we need to save the Poetry Business (LentBlog26)

after Mark Halliday


Because of the writing days. And because
The discovery will not happen on its own, unprompted,
Not even by the internet! Because everything is breaking
Down, and children have no words for their hunger.
Because the podiums and microphones
And decisions made in rooms we will never visit
Are not minded to help us buy pencils.
Because Wittgenstein did not come from Sheffield.
Because of the voice. Also because

Janet once phoned me to say thank you.
And Peter’s cardigan. And Vera is poetry
But not the kind we die needing as we bleed.
Because the blurgh will get us in the end
If roads to snap and to crackle are not given whole
Days of tables and smiles. Because
The blue lights wink ceaselessly at our shoulders
Permitting fear and not much else. Because
Netflix and Facebook would have it otherwise. Because Ann
And the movement of ‘Still Finnish’. Because –
Imagine a world without RADA or the Slade.
The star structure will not feed itself. And also

Try breathing without it. River Wolton
John Harvey David Tait Kath Mackay. ‘The day
Argued for soup.’ Think essential, think living, think
Thinking. ‘Because of the wave of forgetting
Which is so common’. But

Also because the girl playing football on the empty
Beach needs someone to applaud her skill before
The credits roll with misty music. Because the credits will roll
And this is not Sweden or Utopia and
The planet will not thank us, world war or no.

for Ann and Peter Sansom

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