Reblogged from Jim Webster, aka Tallis Steelyard:
I wished to tell the story of Hindle Walbarrow. But then I ran into a problem. For it to be at all comprehensible I had to provide all sorts of background and exposition. Matters were getting hopelessly complicated and poor Hindle was getting lost in the extraneous baggage others were bringing to his life. To be fair, that is not a bad metaphor. Indeed with a little work it could make a perfectly usable aphorism. But I get ahead of myself and shall start at the beginning. So put Hindle Walbarrow from mind. Pretend he doesn’t exist. This isn’t difficult, his mother managed it for the first twenty years of his life. Let us instead focus on a lady of beauty and immense talent.
It is my belief that to be a great poet one has not merely to be trained, one has to have poetry surging through one’s soul, built into the very fibre of your being. It has to be handed down to you by your ancestors. Indeed it is often better if your ancestors were not poets. This means that you contain within yourself the frustrated poetical outpourings of a score or more generations of thwarted genius. Hence my greatness may have been inadvertently boosted by the fact that before me, for uncounted centuries, no Steelyard wrote anything more profound than a laundry list.
Continue reading at Tallis Steelyard