When did you discover poetry?

Well I used to go to Burns suppers when I was a kid, I got taken to these Burns suppers to celebrate the Scottish poet Robert Burns on the 25th January every year and I found those hugely exciting occasions, because somebody would pipe in a haggis then somebody would address the haggis. "Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,/Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!/Aboon them a' yet tak your place" and a knife would get stabbed in the haggis and the haggis would burst open and it was all really gloriously dramatic. I loved the idea that poetry could contain drama like that and it could also be for occasions. Also I read poems a lot at home as well as at school because my parents read poems and they'd take me out to things like poetry and pints nights at the Highland Institute in Sucheihall Street in Glasgow which was more pints than poetry but still quite a lot of fun and I came across poets like Tom Leonard or Liz Lockhead and found it really really exciting that there were poems being written in Glaswegian, the way that I heard people talk and that poetry didn't need to be this sort of rarefied language separate from ourselves; poetry could be part of ourselves, of our very own voices.


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