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My love affair with prose and poetry goes back seven decades, encouraged by visits to a local library and the Concise Oxford Dictionary. My other diversions in the early days were a radio and a piano, encouraging both listening and playing. I discovered a facility to mimic voices and to remember tunes. Later I taught myself to type, which served me well when of working age. I read avidly from Plato to Peter Cheyney, from Enid Blyton to Graham Greene.
My fondness for poetry in particular was mainly with the 20th century poets, not forgetting Edward Lear and Ogden Nash, both of whom chimed with my sense of the ridiculous. It has been tempting to overcrowd poems with descriptive vocabulary, but I discovered that it is often better to be concise and economical rather than too florid.I took up photography as a brief career and have always been committed to express myself through that medium. I have recently self published a book of 1960s photographs and followed that up with one of ink sketches based on some of them plus poems on railway themes.
My career as a musician has sharpened my awareness of timing and rhythm and I will often use the voices of the famous if it helps give humour to a poem. Experiencing the pandemic lockdown has given impetus I believe to express inner experiences at zoom meetings. Though there is no substitute for a live audience, it has been of great benefit to bring a wider readers and listeners together.
My wife Lynn has been a constant support and critic of my work, whenever I have had the humility to involve her. I must also thank Janice and Donall Dempsey who have been so instrumental in the fostering of my efforts.
Ray Pool is the author of A History Nailed Down (2017) and Tales of the Unacceptable (2018).
The library, a dictionary, and the radio were also big influences on me almost seven decades ago. The Oxford Concise is my working dictionary now, in those days it was a tiny blue, Collins Gem English dictionary, which I took to school, and would you believe it, read in free periods.
Many thanks John for reading and commenting on my blog. It obviously struck a literary chord. I still have my 1938 copy and having two older brothers I felt I must keep up with them in terms of wising up!
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This is a blog written by Dempsey & Windle poets about their inspiration for writing poetry
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