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  • Writer's pictureTony Holden

Writing poems

Our website is about ‘poems, art and comment’. So, this month we share Tony’s new poem and invite you to visit the selection of his poems on this website. Also, a photo of Barbara’s clay gecko and blue pot made at the church crafting group, a blue passe partout bowl and some painted wooden items from ‘the Works’ Loughton.


Tony Holden ‘resilience’

It’s not a day for writing poems

It’s hard to stop the threatening noise -

The hours and days go slowly past

But weeks and months go very fast,

There’s just too-much of everything

There’s too much loss and suffering,

Only resilience will suffice.


I wrote my first poem when I was 20. I’m 84 this year and I’ve written some 800 poems. Throughout my working-life for the Methodist Church, and in retirement (from 2003), I’ve used my poems as an alternative voice, a personal diary, and a way to survival and fulfilment. Writing for our grandchildren has become a particular and unexpected pleasure.


I haven’t read lots of contemporary poetry: ‘‘Poems on the Underground’ and Clive James’ 2020 selection and commentary, notwithstanding. Nor have I gone to poetry-reading events. Once I was invited to read at a local gathering and was surprised to find how much I resisted the idea.


But Barbara commented many decades ago that writing was ‘part of my way of being in the world.’ Several times we self-published selected poems and very occasionally had one published. Barbara wrote in 2013 in the booklet ‘Poems for people’: ‘Many’s the time I’ve come home to find a piece of paper pinned to a door or, as now, to the end of the kitchen shelves. Living with someone who writes for his job is one thing. Being proof-reader for ‘fun’ is another. But living with someone who has written poems all the time I’ve known him has given a particular and added flavour to our marriage’”.


When I draw, which I do most weeks, I often reach the limits of my skills. But when I work at a poem the language, ideas, imagination, culture - feel boundless.


I have sometimes thought that my poems are more ‘wordsmith’ than ‘poet!’ Yet I judge my poems are personal, complex, short, direct, visual and felt. My poems have undoubtedly sustained me and yet I’ve always wanted to communicate. So here, we share my new one and hope you’ll link to the selection of poems on this website and find some enjoyable and engaging. 

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1 comentário

25 de mar.

Very interesting reflection on your writing life as a poet, plus good insights from Barbara, as ever! Also your comparison with your work as an artist was illuminating and will ring true for many people.

Finally, what a delightful site!

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