How did you start writing poetry?

I started writing poetry as a child, but not because anybody encouraged me to at school or anything like that. It was just fed, really, by the poems I'd stumbled across in books, and also by my Methodist family upbringing, there was a lot of church-going and a lot of hymn-singing and I think the hymns of Charles Wesley were one of my earliest influences. Also the sermons that were given by the local preachers who came and preached hellfire to us on a Sunday morning. So all that sort of fed my interest in language and the music of language, and I wrote as a child and then a little bit of embarrassing teenage poems, and then forgot all about it for about fifteen years and rediscovered it in my early thirties when I really began to write seriously.


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