The Small Society
At the end of a strange day, I find one as-yet unopened email amongst the many others expressing alarm, disappointment, anger, sympathy and support. This one makes no reference to the weird events of this weird and dismal day. It’s from a poet I vaguely know through occasional correspondence, his letters memorable to me because they are written in blue felt-tip pen. He wants me to read a poem he’s just finished and asks particularly for my opinion on the penultimate line of the first stanza. At first I wonder how he’s so unaware of what’s happened today but quickly I’m pleased. It’s refreshing and as I read the poem I’m back again doing the kind of quiet, introspective work that I like doing, work that to me isn’t even work. And it’s a good poem, written by someone who was thinking today only of his craft, his vision, his words.