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'A poem is like a little miracle'

14 December 2015

‘I wrote poetry first. Little children love poetry if you let them, and devices like rhyme, alliteration, lists and repetition are how we all learned language. I've written poems as long as I've been able to write - obviously, since long before blogging existed. It's about language for me, and the play of light, if you will, on an idea or a feeling or something so inchoate you can only make it flesh in the form of a poem. It's like gathering smoke together and giving it embodiment in the form of words. A poem is like a little miracle; it's a phenomenon that can't be understood or paraphrased. It occurs. And it might take a long time at your desk to bring it out, to make it occur.

As a child I also read humorous essays, memoirs, all sorts of things. When I was 15 we read Charles Lamb's ‘A Dissertation Upon a Roast pig' in school and I nearly made myself sick laughing. By then I understood that an essay is just a discussion of some subject, and that you could be both serious and amusing at the same time. I never thought an ‘essay' was only some boring thing you had to write for school. And I was beginning to read serious literary criticism. Reading books about books! What could be better? So poetry and essays feel equally natural to me. I also used to write stories...'

Katy Evans-Bush, the author of the Baroque in Hackney blog, talking about her collection of essays Forgive the Language: Essays on Poets and Poetry at