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Ant Smith
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On Being A Poet

Tuesday 14th June 2016 8:50pm

Image of an eternal tree.

It is my belief that if you cannot trust a person in the small things then you cannot trust them with the big issues. That actually, if you steal flowers from a pensioner's garden you are a vile rogue. That if you cheat on your expenses you will do all you can to defraud the nation. It is our smallest of actions that reveal our philosophies and our behavioural capacities. It doesn't surprise me that there appears to be a link between animal abuse and our propensity to become serial killers. I believe the big issues are revealed in the minutia of life

This is why I am a poet, and this informs the poetry I write. Poetry's USP lies in its ability to connect our own small minds and lives with the universal. Sure many poets forget about bridging the gap between the small and the large, or perhaps just don't understand the medium. Poetry about just the universal becomes preachy and oblique. Poetry about just the small becomes tedious and insular. Only when the two are connected does poetry serve a useful purpose.

So, because poetry is about connecting the small and the universal and because it is those connections that reveal our morality, poetry is intrinsically moral.

And it becomes incumbent on the poet to strive harder than others to behave according to a high standard of ethical conduct. This despite the disadvantage they have, in that they are human; worse than that, they are poets.

Now I won't get in to a discourse here about what represents a correct ethical standard, as that is an argument raged between truth Sayers and liars. An argument that can never be won. But we can cast our eye upon small behaviours, because in those it is easy to agree right and wrong. And by doing so we can start to understand what it is that is wrong, poisonous, and destructive in poetry today and especially as it is expressed in some quarters of england's capitol city.

What especially amazes me though, is how some of particularly vulgar ethic declare themselves poets. To be honest, it turns my stomach.

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