Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

Thought For The Day – Poetry Helps When You’re Fed Up

I’ve discovered writing poetry to be a process of composing an evolving diary of madness. It’s not that I’m getting any madder, if you’re concerned. I’m not. It’s generally up and down and it’s something I have learned to manage.

I have found, looking back, that I can chart the peaks and troughs by the nature of the stuff that I’ve written, although not in the way one may imagine. I don’t suddenly scratch out ‘My life’s a shell, an empty hollow shell,’ in red ink, so that’s one more thing you needn’t concern yourself with. In fact, I have been known to write my funniest stuff when the black dog (as I call it) has fully moved in and taken up residence in front of the telly.
This is a good thing for the head and the poem, the writing that is, not the dog. I can guarantee that I will strive to make that poem as funny as is humanly possible as the funnier it is, the better I feel about myself.
Conversely, once the dog’s buggered off to wherever he goes and I’m back to a semblance of sanity I tend to write a bit of bleak stuff. It’s like a literary vaccine I guess, words rising up and nailing the worries to the page before they start breeding and running amok in me neurons.
It’s not as clear cut as all that, and I’m not suggesting that writing poetry can cure one’s depression, but for me it helps.
Right now I’m in an OK place, and may well compose a tragic lament entitled ‘My Life’s a Shell, an Empty Hollow Shell’

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