Outside the black-and-white lines
A. A. Gill is not a writer I always admire. But he shone when he wrote on poetry in a piece that appeared in the Sunday Times today. “Most of us are gaffed, flayed, stitched up and stuffed by poems,” he said. “We’re marked out and buoyed up by them. Even if we haven’t read a new one for a decade, still there are verses that are the most precious and dear cultural amulets we own, hidden in the dead letter boxes of our hearts. Ask anyone what’s right at the centre of their personal culture and it will be poetry. Snatches, lines of verse, we take them to our end. A poem is a thing that transcends its construction.” I don’t know if I agree that asking anyone will reveal that poetry is at the heart of his or her cultural matter, but I know that’s true if you ask me. And now I’m asking you: what are the snatches, lines of verse that you will take to your end?