Neil Rathmell – writer

150+ essays on literary topics

Tag Archives: poetry

A poet’s voice

Writers talk about finding their voice. I was once told by a literary agent to whom I had sent a draft of a novel ‘we warmed to your voice’. But … Continue reading

July 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Marvell’s Garden

Spenser was twelve when Shakespeare was born, Shakespeare was eight when Donne was born, Donne was twenty-one when Herbert was born, Herbert was fifteen when Milton was born, Milton was … Continue reading

April 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Reader’s Diary, 3 December 2014

The publication of a Collected Poems is a momentous occasion in the life of any poet. Momentous for the poet’s readers too and more than usually so with the publication … Continue reading

December 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

A poem by Charles Causley

Why do you turn your head, Susanna, And why do you swim your eye? It’s only the children on Bellman Street Calling, ‘A penny for the guy!’ The underlying theme … Continue reading

September 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

D.H.Lawrence, the poet

D.H.Lawrence was simply a writer, in the way that a composer is a composer or an artist an artist. He wrote prolifically in every literary form and showed that he … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Reader’s Diary – 29 January 2014

John Clare wrote three kinds of poem: observations on himself (‘I am – yet what I am none cares or knows’), observations on social change (‘Enclosure like a Bonaparte let … Continue reading

January 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

Laurie Lee

The poetry of Laurie Lee is not as well-known as it should be, unless Cider With Rosie counts as a poem, which at a stretch it might. His first volume … Continue reading

January 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

Ten rules for reading poetry aloud

Rule 1: Don’t. Poems are better read than heard, better heard in your head than your ear. Your voice is bound to sound wrong because the sound of poetry is … Continue reading

October 30, 2013 · 2 Comments

The first modern English poem

THE LOVER SHEWETH HOW HE IS FORSAKEN OF SUCH AS HE SOMTIME ENJOYED This poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt, written a few years before his death in 1542, is the … Continue reading

July 24, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thomas Hardy’s identity crisis

‘No one wanted to publish his early poems,’ Claire Tomalin wrote in the introduction to her Poems of Thomas Hardy (Penguin Classics, 2006), ‘but he kept writing verse during the … Continue reading

June 26, 2013 · 1 Comment