How does being English affect your poetry?

I should mention first that I'm so old that I remember the last war when I was a child growing up and therefore I remember England as under siege, a feeling of bombs being about to drop and things of that sort. And that meant, for some reason, the impact on me was the specialness of England and the English language. I like being at home, which is the essence of England I suppose, but I don't like to miss the point of things. And when I'm abroad I feel I'm missing so many subtleties - it's quite easy to miss the point. And I was lucky that my course at Oxford included Old English which gave me a sense of continuity because the language hasn't changed all that much, though a lot has been added. There's a pleasure as a writer in using such an experienced language, a language with so many words in it that you can use in so many different ways.


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