poemof the moment
What does it matter if the words I choose, in the order I choose them in, Go out into a silence I know Nothing about
about the poem
This sequence of poems considers the way poetry and language work, contesting the idea that the poet has any control over the way his poem is understood or received. It is – as so often with W.S. Graham – both playful and serious; it gives each word a wonderful autonomy and makes each reader a co-creator of meaning. It reminds us to read actively, and gives the poet license to wonder at his own choices.
Image: Words by Megan, under a Creative Commons licence.
poem chosen by…
I love having W.S. Graham’s ‘untidy, dreadful table’ in the Library, as a tangible reminder of this poet who remains undervalued, often, in his native land. Denise Riley used a phrase of his as the title for her new collection; Thomas A. Clark gave the address when the plaque was unveiled at Graham’s birthplace in 2006, both Greenock men. It has been a huge pleasure to uncover these connections between poets, and to make new connections with audiences, over these past 16 years.
W. S. Graham
William Sydney Graham was born in Greenock, Renfrewshire, and spent most of his adult life in Cornwall, where he scraped together a living as a writer. His poetry pays close attention to the structure and possibilities of language; he invites readers to explore with him the means to authentic communication in poems of great energy, wit and humanity.