Poetry makes me think of the fragrances of flowers on a warm summer breeze
Michael and I are very excited to have Kevin Morris, a prolific and excellent poet visiting us at Robbie’s Inspiration today.
Kevin is going to share a bit about himself and his writing process and I will share my review of his new book The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems [Brilliant read!]. I received an ARC of this book in return for a donation to the South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind – a very worthy cause.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Liverpool, on 6 January 1969. I attended the Royal School for the Blind and Saint Vincent’s School for the Blind (both of which are located in Liverpool). I have happy memories of leafing through “Palgrave’s Golden Treasury”, “The Oxford Book of English Verse” and other poetry collections in the school library. It was during my time in the school library, together with the many hours spent sitting on my grandfather’s knee as he read to me, that I derived my love of literature and poetry in particular.
You were a fortunate child to have a grandfather who read to you. A wonderful memory.
I read history and politics at University College Swansea and graduated with a BA (joint hons) and a MA in political theory.
Your knowledge of history and politics shows in your many insightful poems that include references to these subjects.
In 1994 I moved to London where I now live and work. I am lucky to live close to an historic park in the Upper Norwood/Crystal Palace area (a suburb of greater London). Upper Norwood derives it’s name from the Great North Wood and is one of the greenest parts of greater London.
Sounds wonderful. London is my favourite big city.
I use a standard Windows computer equipped with software called Job Access with Speech or JAWS, which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to compose my poetry and perform other tasks on my computer.
When you first told me about this, Kevin, I thought it was incredible and I still do.
When did you start writing poetry and why?
The first poem I recollect having written was entitled “The Snake” and was written in response to an instruction by the teacher to compose a poem. I remember that it started thus, “slithering through the wet grass comes the snake”. Other than these few words the poem is long since lost to me.
I began writing poetry seriously in 2012 as a form of self-expression and in the hope of perhaps touching the hearts and minds of others. To me poetry constitutes, in it’s purest form, the expression of beauty. Of course poets write about a multiplicity of subjects (both dark and light) but, at its best, poetry is beauty.
I agree with you completely, Kevin. Your poetry definitely makes its mark on the reader’s mind and soul.
You are a prolific writer of poetry, do the ideas just come to you or do you have to work at them?
Sometimes poems pop into my head. For example the title poem in my collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind” came to me, more or less fully formed, as I wound the clock which sits on the bookcase in my living room. The swinging of the pendulum reminded me of the passing of time and the shortness of human life, and the poem was born. Again, in my most recent collection, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”, “Wood in the Rain” came to me as I walked in the woods, close to my home as the rain gently fell. Other poems take rather longer to compose (although I can not, for the life of me think of any which fall into this category).
I was very pleased to read this, Kevin. My own poetry also frequently comes to me almost fully formed. It is a wonderful thing.
What are your short-term goals with your writing?
To continue to write regularly and to continue to hone my craft.
Kevin has a wonderful blog where he shares poetry daily. You can view his poetry at https://newauthoronline.com/
What are your hobbies, other than writing?
I enjoy spending time with friends, particularly in traditional pubs. There is a wonderful pub, some 20 minutes from my home, called the Railway Bell which has an open fire (which is great in the winter), and a pub garden with a pond with fish in it.
I also enjoy eating out with friends. Indian and Thai food are amongst my favourites, although I am also a huge fan of traditional roast dinners, particularly roast beef.
I derive pleasure from a wide range of music, ranging from the popular to the classical and find listening to music very relaxing.
This pub sound great. I love English pubs.
What is your favourite way to relax?
I love walking with my guide dog, Trigger in the woods and enjoying the many scents which waft up from the rich earth.
Being a poet, I am also a huge fan of poetry and spend many happy hours reading poems, both ancient and modern.
These are lovely ways to relax, Kevin. I also love to read poetry.
My review of The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems
This is the second book of poetry by Kevin Morris that I have read. I also read his poetry on his blog as often as possible. Kevin has a very unique poetic voice which I really enjoy. His poetry is also very diverse with topics ranging from nature, human folly and pleasures as well as poems with a political and/or historical slant. The one trait that all of Kevin’s poems have in common is that they make you think about life, past, present and future.
This particular poetry collection shares some insightful poems about historical and political events.
“It is easy to look back through an opaque
Glass and take
The high moral ground.
‘Tis a truth throughout history found
That yesterday’s hero
Will into the garbage go,
For they were not “progressive” (although they thought themselves so).”
This verse is extracted from a poem entitled Rhodes. As this particular event relates to my home country of South Africa, I felt a strong connection with Kevin’s words and thoughts on this matter.
“Kipling may regret,
The sun continues to shine
And there is curry
While in the street
Beating out a more or less harmonious song.”
This verse is extracted from a poem entitled Kipling May Regret. I found this poem to be very profound.
My favourite poem was the following introductory poem to the book:
“You accuse me of hiding in my ivory tower.
I answer that I have no power,
Other than my pen
The truth of the matter,
Causing the fine porcelain
Of your ideals to shatter,
Revealing the stain
Called human nature.
For each man is a prater
And the writer’s pen
Can interpret the heart’s of men.”
This poem is called The Writer’s Pen and it is a perfect summary of the power of excellent poetry and its ability to capture human nature and events in words.
Congratulations, Kevin. I thought this book of poetry was outstanding and my rating is five out of five stars.
Pre-order The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems
My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems by Kevin Morris
Another wonderful poetry collection by Kevin Morris. You can read my review of this book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35445316-my-old-clock-i-wind-and-other-poems
You can purchase this book here: