I have had many interests over the course of my short sentient life. Cinema, maths, geography, philosophy, sociology, football, small furry animals, politics: all of these (and more) have received the bulk of my attention at some point or other.

Until recently, poetry had taken something of a peripheral place. My mother had exposed me to poetry from an early age through textbooks, cassette tapes and educational television programmes, but it had rarely seemed anything more than a passing interest.

At the age of 18, I finally tried writing a poem of my own: a crudely constructed, not altogether embarrassing allegory about overcoming fear of rejection. I was proud of what I’d written, but unaware of what to do with it, who to show it to or where to expect informed criticism from. As no answers seemed immediately obvious, I kept writing.

It became clear after some time that I was practicing a dead art. The poetry I grew up with — that of Wordsworth, Keats and Shakespeare — had long been dispensed with by the establishment. I was confronted by a ‘modern’ form, that which appeared to pay little heed to rhyme, meter or symmetry; instead, appearing to offer little more than the ability to chop mediocre prose into line lengths. I knew I was out of touch, and — with more than a little resentment and reluctance — sought to modernise my writing.

My style and subject material changed. I learned non-metronomic rhythm; shifted stanza lengths; began exploring new techniques. Throughout, I felt an incredible sense of satisfaction with every completed poem, longing for any form of feedback or assessment.

In 2011, at the age of 22, I finally commenced an academic study of the art form. The results have been significant and immediate. Rather than writing one poem every three months as a peripheral hobby, I find poetry at the centre of my everyday life and creative energy. For the first time, I can see myself developing it as a serious endeavour, with an eye towards publication and recognition. I still have much to learn, develop and refine; but, for the first time, I feel like a real poet. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written so far.

David Heslin


2 Responses to “Introduction”

  1. I have been reading your comments on Matthew Hayden’s blog and I just want to thank you for your last one. I didnt know how else to contact you.

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