Good evening.

I have been thinking about what I want to say on Queen Mob’s, and what to say about saying it.

Let us say that there is one set made up of my interests, and another made up of the subjects I imagine others will be interested in. Experience tells me that they are not usually the same, but it also tells me that if I speak of the first set as if it were the second set (and show a bit of ankle) I can persuade a few listeners to stay. That’s my big idea.

When I read poems, new or old, my mind is always likelier to make associations through time than through space. I expect that my tendency to read historically will inform my blogging here. And really, why not discuss, for example, Amy Key and Marianne Moore in the same breath? And if some contemporaries really ought to be read together, I’ll find that out and report it as if I was the first person to have discovered that fact.

I hope to advance a few theories that, in the fullness of time, will be dignified with the descriptor ‘crackpot.’

I suppose that, inevitably, I will have things to say about the writing of New Zealand, where I now live, and possibly Australia. It is almost certainly important to come to grips with your own local literature, although I couldn’t say why, and the reality is that I am in the Pacific but not (yet) of it.

I also enjoy the vulgarest literary gossip that can still be called high-brow, the sort that makes you embarrassed for literature and for yourself. Like when a picture of acerbic Welsh poet R. S. Thomas was accidentally used on a Tyrrells crisps packet earlier this year. So stay tuned.

Thank you for reading. We must do this again some time.

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