I love writing. I enjoy making up little poems for friends and family, for special occassions, but when I have to sit down and write a serious poem, or a poem for something particularly painful, like a bereavment, I find it difficult. To convey all that emotion, texture, ambience, attitude in a single line, with several words is frustratingly difficult. I tried, when my father died, to write a poem for him, but gave up after 3 months. Maybe it was harder because the grief was too close, I don’t know. But having struggled so hard with it I re-read some of my favourites with new eyes, researching the background of the poem, the inspirations, the muses, the situations from which they arose … and I am now in awe of poets that are able to say so much with so little – which is th ewhole point, I know. I wonder then what more we could learn about Shakespeare’s sonnets if we knew of the whos, whats, wheres, whens, whys and most especially about the person they were written for and his relationship to the person he wrote of.
If you get the chance, listen to Alan Rickman (‘Snape’ to the uninformed) reading sonnet 130 on youtube. When a poem is read with such passion it can melt a heart. I get the same feeling when I listen to a good rendition of Habanero.