My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
However, I would say that for most people who don’t write poetry this would be their idea of a poem: lyric, beauty, sentiment. It’s these new-fangled poets who don’t write like this. ‘All those similies; all that juicy fruit and halcyon sea, eeesh’ says contemporary poet. This poem knows where it’s going, people on the whole (let’s argue this one if you like) don’t write like this anymore.
‘Ok’, says the poet, ‘poems have to make sense in terms of dream logic, off to my notebook I go.’ My own view is that all poetry from different time periods and cultures must be enjoyed. For this experiment, however, the poet wants to be contemporary. To test this I have opened a copy of the latest Rialto – the closest thing next to me at the desk – randomly. Below are the opening lines to a poem, ‘The Last’ by Robin Houghton:
They’ve been coming since posters were invented:
sometimes in dreams, to the tipping of cowboy hats