Last week I responded to a request on a writers' forum for people to relate the catalyst that inspired a novel. I wrote about the incident that eventually led to Monkey-tail, which is awaiting a rewrite. I was on holiday with my husband in Cornwall when we saw a man fishing without a rod in the sea from the rocks. He constantly cast and drew in the line, so that my husband said he looked as if he was conducting the sea. I was rewarded for the tale by someone sending me a poem by William Carlos Williams, 'The Ritualists', which you can find here.
    I hadn't read it before, but it immediately became one of my favourites. It conjures pictures, atmosphere and inner reality. The only other work of Williams I know is 'This is just to say' which, in effect, is a note left on a fridge door. It's controversial because there are those who say it isn't poetry. What does make a poem or poetry? There's the formal layout, rhythms and language that forms a pattern or sound links, and an expectation of significance. The language of 'This is just to say' isn't out of the ordinary; it's deceptively simple and chosen with care to defamiliarise an everyday incident and make the reader aware of the beauty and significance of details we would otherwise be too busy to notice. In my eyes, that makes it a terrific poem and I wish I could write so evocatively.
    I've also had a response to my website which needs a mention. Thanks to Gail Mandeville, who pointed out that one of the sites on my links page wasn't working and alerted me to the existence of, which I'll be taking a look at soon.
    In fact, thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to read my work.