The sonnets are ‘okay’, but if you could

imagine what a fog of teenage scorn

obscures The Prelude... If you had been born

last century, you might have understood –

a different revolution in your blood,

your room in Hawkshead blazing rock and porn,

poetry in the junkmail, your hair shorn,

tongue pierced and neck tattooed: you’d have been good

at English, though you would have stayed off school

to go to Glastonbury, taken dope

and doubtless knocked some French girl up again.

But could it these days be considered ‘cool’

to blog your own mind’s growth, just in the hope

of someone logging on to hear your brain?


first published in Critical Quarterly