The inadvertent creation of a poet

More from jim…

Tallis Steelyard

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I have, over the years, done my best to assist many budding poets. To be fair, in the interests of the art I’ve assisted some to be clerks or actuaries, some to be day labourers and one or two I’ve convinced to become librettists. But the ones I’m proudest of are those who I felt had that necessary spark and who went on to produce truly excellent work. But the finest of them all I produced by accident.

I was teaching a couple of courses at the University, and frankly the students were getting to be a nuisance. It wasn’t as if they were particularly boisterous. Students who drink deeply, love extravagantly, and finally crawl out of bed at some point in the middle of the afternoon are not a problem for the lecturer. Especially if you make sure you get them to pay for your teaching in advance. The…

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