Poetry is a great thing to give a novelist, I think. Very few of the volumes I own are ones I chose for myself. A treasured collection is by Harry Martinson, sent me by a friend and colleague which I'd otherwise never have come across.
Enchanted by the seductive music of this poem, its strangeness but also its powerful sense of reality; I didn't know exactly what it meant in the sense of its paraphrasable content, but its potency was unignorable. Imagine if one could write like this!
Stridency, polemicism, ineffectiveness — political poetry is often criticised. Nicholas Murray, defending it, traces the grand tradition of political poetry in the British Isles, and asks if poets who are not political risk being trivial.
Poets have always looked inward. They have always been fascinated by transformation. Few, however, have considered how the act of writing poetry itself might change them. The poet John Greening looks within, and behind, and finds himself changed.