Return of the Muse


I haven’t written any poetry for some time, and it has been a source of some irritation to me, so it is somewhat ironic that the subject is the spoken truth of a poet and a philosopher who lived their vision, as opposed to chronicling it. Their search for meaning led them to understand that the written record was not the point,  the importance they attached to the words they spoke lay  with the listener as much as with themselves, and the interpretation a listener constructs may be a different animal to that which the speaker dreamed of. The idea of Socrates was for each person to realise their own life by questioning everything he came across. I really like that, and it is that value which Grayson Perry conveyed to me in his artwork ‘Hold your views lightly’. I spent a glorious Sunday afternoon in our modest suburban garden with these thoughts and a husband happy to lie back and listen to me. The sounds of Sunday, droning hover mowers and fat wood pigeons clumsily skirting the wilderness at the bottom of the garden returned me to a peaceableness that had been lacking for some time. I have had a good summer, filled with ordinary chiff and chaff, the privilege of spending time just being with my sons, one now away during term time, the youngest triumphant from a GCSE year, and growing into adulthood before my eyes. This I realise is where meaning lies for me, in the daily round of deciding what to have for tea, and finding lost keys and mislaid paraphenalia. Simple pleasures. So I am glad when words return to say something to me, and I do write them down. But then I’m no Rumi, no Socrates.


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