The first poem I remember writing was school work at the age of ten, about King Canute. The teacher, I think, felt like the King, unable to hold back the tide. The stanzas, like waves, kept coming. Later, English was my main subject in which I got a Degree. However, I chose to teach juniors rather than English at a higher level, perhaps fearing frustration? If anyone asked me the question they asked Mr. Chipping, I would have answered as he did Hundreds of themand all boys. I had a memorable experience at a Summer School at Reading University when I recited two of my bereavement poems. You wont cry, will you? the tutor asked me beforehand. No, I replied, But they will, I could have added with hindsight Every cloud can have a silver liningyes, a good poem. It is good to make people laugh and I do like to, but I prefer the salt in tearscrisps and salted peanuts rather than jelly or sweet biscuits at a party. However, in Not Daffodils, I have, as it were, held a mirror to a known poem and reflect its beautyas in Lea-Creaver and Shut Outor, more often, humorously to distort it.
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