“The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here”

Vidyan Ravinthiran’s “Million-petalled Flower” may well be a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, but I’m afraid it didn’t work for me; a little too flat and uninspiring. So much so that I couldn’t finish it. I dislike abandoning poetry books, but there you go…

It – and a number of other recent dissatisfactions with my own work – has again led me to question exactly what poetry is. And not for the first time. Perhaps it’s because I strive for so much, but I have a nagging doubt that somehow I’m wide of the mark. I know that much of my work compares well with a lot of the ‘poetry’ written these days, yet I feel as if there’s a new voice waiting to be uncovered; as if all the years of practice have a future purpose behind them.

In “After the Rehearsals” I experimented with narrative poetry. Perhaps there’s more to uncover in that. But it’s also more fundamental than that I fear.