I Am Not A Poet - Poem by Stug Jordan
I am not a poet.
I have not been to university:
no old lecturers have singled me out
for special things to come,
I have no plaques, no artifice;
I am not the word-worrying kind.
I am not a teacher,
and so have no notes on the side;
(draws of folded manuscript in
both neat and shabby hands) :
I am not bald or balding,
as yet, and have no length of beard
to practice academia from.
I have no means to fund it,
and no fortune to parade it.
I am not a poet,
I have not made it.
Nor am I a church warden;
a retired councillor; a librarian.
I don’t amass The Literature,
then never read it.
I am not so Irish. I have no blood
in Wales or France.
Nothing in me is of Portugal.
I am not a woman, soft-faced
and gentle, pushing poems
past forty, in a stream of horticulture:
semi-retirement and Latin flowers.
I am not a critic, nor a monarchist.
I am not a poet
these past so and so years.
I have no grant, no salary.
I have never looked my most solemn
in Westminster Abbey, and
thought of a retirement there.
My car is not old and worn out:
I don’t own one.
I never ponder my train journeys.
There are never moments when,
looking back on those who are,
I think: If they were then as I am now,
why can’t I….?
But I don’t, because
I am not one of those.
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