Claire Louise (story)

The first poem I wrote as an adult was for my daughter, Claire Louise. We were going to name her Samantha, but thankfully changed our minds. (Try rhyming Samantha with anything!!) We still have the plastic name bracelet from the maternity hospital with Samantha written on it.

Whatever you think of the quality, it at least shows an early preference for rhyme, metre and structure. Call me old-fashioned, but these poetic devices provide the music of poetry – anything else can look like prose with funny line breaks, the poetic equivalent of a Birtwistle score, or what I like to call homeopathic poetry… where every essence of poetry is distilled out until all that remains are lines of words with a title at the top and a name at the end. And you don’t even get the benefit of the placebo effect!