Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful
And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two.
I'm one of your talking wounded.
I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded.
A nasty surprise in a sandwich,
A drawing-pin caught in your sock,
The limpest of shakes from a hand which
You'd thought would be firm as a rock,
It is not what they built. It is what they knocked down.
It is not the houses. It is the spaces in between the houses.
It is not the streets that exist. It is the streets that no longer exist.
It is not your memories which haunt you.
The lullaby is the spell whereby the mother attempts to transform herself back from an ogre to a saint.
The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.
Imitation, if it is not forgery, is a fine thing. It stems from a generous impulse, and a realistic sense of what can and cannot be done.
One does not become a guru by accident.
James Martin Fenton (born 25 April 1949, Lincoln) is an English poet, journalist and literary critic. He is a former Oxford Professor of Poetry.
Born in Lincoln, Fenton grew up in Lincolnshire and Staffordshire, the son of Canon John Fenton, a noted biblical scholar. He was educated at the Durham Choristers School, Repton and Magdalen College, O ...