Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Latest Post

The best time for writing

I’m writing this on Tuesday afternoon in the knowledge that I might have to write it again on Wednesday morning.

Mornings are my best time for writing, when my brain is at its most creative. Why that should be, I don’t know, but I know that it’s true.

Yesterday morning I wrote a new poem for the poem sequence that I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. It was good. In the afternoon I wrote another one. It was rubbish.

Writing in the morning has to begin before my brain has had to deal with anything more demanding than getting dressed and having breakfast. Everything else must wait until imagination has done its work. If anything gets in the way, the writing must be put off till tomorrow.

Whoever wrote the book of Genesis must have been familiar with the process of creation from his or her own experience of writing.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Writers go about their works of imagination in much the same way, making things, placing them, naming them.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

I can just imagine him making a print-out, as I do, leaning back and reading it, and saying with a smile, “Hmm… That’s good!”

And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Like me, he got his ideas the night before, so they could take shape in the morning. Voilà!

Previous Posts

The King and I

Our paths crossed at Cambridge. I was at Jesus College from 1965 to 1968, he was at Trinity from 1967 to 1970. I saw him only once, when I was walking to my college along Jesus Lane and he was walking the other way with his bodyguards behind him. If he had been...

read more

Jerusalem Street

Down at the end of Jerusalem Street There's a butcher's shop selling cuts of meat Wrapped in cloth so white and neat You'd think it was really a winding sheet. So many parcels! Enough for a feast! Shoulder and loin, belly and feet, Heads to boil, legs to roast, Fresh...

read more

First Folio Day 

Shakespeare, Shakespeare, nothing but Shakespeare, as we celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the First Folio. In other words the first complete works, published in 1623 by Blount & Jaggard, prepared for publication by his old friends, John Heminges and...

read more

The antidote to Cities of Culture

The city of Leeds lost out in its bid to be European Capital of Culture 2023, disqualified by Britain's decision to leave the EU. Meanwhile, its neighbour, Bradford, has been chosen to be UK City of Culture 2025. Licking its wounds, Leeds (or rather Leeds City Council...

read more

Infantilising the nation

I have begun to wonder whether the government has conspired with the BBC to infantilise the nation. Participants in television programmes are encouraged to behave like children, jumping up and down, waving their arms about, hugging each other. Men, even very old men,...

read more

No clapping please, we’re mindful

Last week's 'Mindfulness Prom' was a quiet affair. The music was all lento and pianissimo. Just when clapping between movements has begun to be permitted, if only at the Proms, the audience for this concert listened in total silence. There were times when I had to...

read more

There’s something about a pub

There's something about a pub that loosens the tongue, sloughs off inhibition, turns the tide of imagination. How many novels, plays and poems have been conceived in a pub? How many ideas hastily scribbled down? How many hitherto unnoticed faults revealed when a draft...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest