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‘The true world is beyond explanation by words’

Renowned poet Mark Waldron, who was in the city to participate in contemporary British poetry showcase by British Council, on significance of poetry in modern times

‘The true world is beyond explanation by words’


Tell us about your love for poetry and how you got initiated into it? 

I love visual arts more than I love poetry. But art is harder to create, so I make poetry! I started writing poems when I was a teenager. Some poets’ thoughts resonated with mine at that time, something clicked and I felt that I understood what they were trying to do. I realised language could be manipulated to perform tricks, it wasn’t actually built for. 

Your tips for budding poets 

The tip most poets give is to read up a lot but that’s not my tip. I didn’t read much before I started writing. To me the most important thing is to listen to yourself and to the world with a particular attitude — that of serenity. If you do that you’ll find you hear poetry, or you’ll hear things that are beyond words. The true world is beyond explanation by words. 

Who are your favourite poets? 

Interestingly, my favourite poets are novelists or short story writers. I love reading Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. I also love T S Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Kenneth Koch, James Wright and contemporary poets such as Brenda Shaughnessy, Matthea Harvey, Noelle Kocot and Kathleen Ossip.

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