‘Poetry can be a way of escape or a revelation, trite or profound.’

The pandemic is encouraging many of us to new forms of expression. Harvey Gillman on a lyrical lockdown

‘Poetry to me is a very serious enterprise. It can unite across borders while remaining essentially untranslatable...' | Photo: Trust “Tru” Katsande / Unsplash.

An increased proportion of mail to the Friend at the present time is in the form of poetry. Creativity is in the air. There are more television programmes on the arts and crafts, as well as shows for children to use their skills in new and exciting ways. Theatres are looking for ways of redeploying the skills of their practitioners. At the same time, I am aware of the predicament of many who are simply trying to survive – those without gardens, in difficult relationships, without financial prospects, those trying to bring up children in tiny flats, and those for whom all talk of dynamic opportunities for creativity sound like luxuries well outside their life experience.

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