POET AUGUST 2015: Clive S. Johnson

Guest Poetry Curator Pete Stones introduces Clive S. Johnson as the showcased poet of the month August on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

Pete: ‘Clive’s his work has a raw timeless quality. With a style reminiscent of Keats and Mervyn Peake, Clive’s highly evocative works capture the imagination and challenge the reader. His works confirms my belief that a single line of poetry is as powerful and memorable as an entire novel.’

Clive: ‘What, for me, is poetry? Well, it’s certainly a journey, a journey of the mind, of the soul and the heart, a journey from my inner self to the very outer limits of what my life has so far, in my sixth decade, set before me.  But for poetry to be poetry and not merely prose, it must also be music: that begetter of all languages. It therefore needs to take advantage of alliteration, of rhyme and meter; it must scan in such a way as to draw the reader in so they lose themselves completely to the poem’s own sensual song.  Only then can a poem really live.

And so, how do we measure whether a poem be truly alive?  A successful poem is one that draws the reader back, time and again, on each occasion offering new depth of meaning, a fresh perspective on the familiar, a reminder of things perhaps once felt but somehow long since lost.

For this to work, poetry must be honest: true to the poet’s sensibilities, beliefs and experience, and be expressed in such a way that each and every word, every letter, carries a greater weight of deliberation.

Although I’ve dabbled in verse all my life, for its own sake and woven into my novels, it’s only recently that I’ve set a serious mind to expressing myself through poetry’s fascinating demands of concision, nuance and precision, something I hope you’ll now find to your liking.’

Clive is a published author of novels such as ‘An Artist’s Eye’ and ‘Leiyatel’s Embrace’, but has not yet publicly shared his poetry. Please generously share your feedback with Clive!