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‘Ghosts’ started out as two collections of poetry written between 2001 and about 2008, one called Heroes and the other Ghosts. Since then, I’ve pruned them both, losing several pieces that had meant a lot to me but didn’t seem to work in the cold light of retrospect. I’ve also added in a few more recent pieces that seemed to fit the theme.
What do I mean by ‘Ghosts’?
The best poetry sees through the surface of the world and looks beyond; ‘Heaven in ordinarie’ as George Herbert put it, ‘We are spirits in the material world’: Sting.
While this is lovely, it comes at a price because so much of our culture minimises or flatly denies that any of this is true, leaving us isolated and lonely, unable to touch even those who are closest to us.
What are heroes? Who needs heroes? Who are heroes? What makes heroes? David Beckham? Osama bin Laden? Robin Hood? Mother Teresa? Mr Jones from No 42? Is heroism a physical quality or a moral one? Is it an accident of history? Is it that, as Shakespeare says: ‘some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them’?
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