Verse Or Worse

I blame Robbie Cheadle. Something she wrote anyway. You couldn’t blame Robbie per se. Far too nice.

The thing is she started me thinking about poetry. My poetry. Writing prose is a joy but often writing poetry is hard. Really hard. I feel its constraints, the way it is so very easy to fall into cliché and cheesy repetition.

For those whoever been following this blog a while you will also know my dad wrote poetry and he, too, sweated blood over it. And never once did he express himself satisfied ‘just doggerel, boy’ he’d say if I praised him and there was little false modesty about his self deprecation.

So how is it I find myself contemplating publishing a book of poetry? That’s where Robbie comes in.


Just maybe.

But before I do, is there anyone out there who is prepared to be brutally honest with me and have a look at what I’ve pulled together and see if they think it has merit. I need real honesty here. I’d not mind it if I was told to put my ego away. Really. Part of me – the part that feels the pain of writing it, the part that echoes my old man – would probably be quite pleased.

I’d love you dearly. As a quid pro quo I’d happily read anything you wanted an honest opinion on. And two of my books of your choosing, in paperback and signed, are yours to receive in the post – wherever you are in the globe – I draw the line at aliens and creatures from any parallel universe – the post is notoriously fickle across the space-time continuum and there is the risk you might receive it before it has been written which will cause all sorts of copy-writhing issues.

So, anyone? A note in the comments of a mail via the contact me button and I’ll be made up, as they say – goodness is that a stupid expression? Made up into what?

Anyhoo, who’d like the gig? (groans….)



Wherever we place our faith, in God or nature or another’s face

Once verdant boughs now sad skinned wraiths begrudge permissive youth its place;

December’s death has gripped the land, once luscious leaves just left to rot

Brittle skeletal, hope’s becalmed in our lost Eden that God forgot.

We fight the urge to hurry past, desert cold Earth under pleated sky

 And turn away from its last gasp, all dry and seer where no cloud will cry.

Yet stop we must, hope’s always there in amongst this season’s dying

It draws us close, it makes us care as life prepares for a new year’s living.

Spring forecloses on Winter’s debt, enough to pay for Summer’s lease

Succour comes borne on a breath that turns the key for each year’s release.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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15 Responses to Verse Or Worse

  1. I’m not competent to assess poetry, but I’m sure someone who is will come forward

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I attended a poetry course in 1974 and was told I could write verse, but not poetry.
    To me, true poetry is something that reaches within and touches the senses. It doesn’t have to rhyme or have a rhythm, but paint a picture with words.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. tidalscribe says:

    I don’t often write poetry, but our writing tutor loves the poets in our group. For several years I sweated blood in the hope of winning the local Wooden Quill prize of £100 . There was not a lot of competition in terms of numbers, but in terms of talent – yes… I never won, just gritted my teeth as each year various friends got up to recieve their prize!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Poetry is difficult. Difficult!! I wrote two blog posts on the way to create them: How to Write Poetry, and How To Write Terrible Poetry.

    I’d love to offer you some constructive pointers, though not in a public comment. That seems awfully rude. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Erika Kind says:

    I don’t feel entitled to judge your (or anyone’s) poetry. Poetry is an expression of the heart to let emotions flow. Poetry to me is like music in letters. So, what is good music? Yes, there are rules about the syllables. But I don’t care about it because when it touched my heart, made me think, or inspired me then it is good poetry because you can feel the soul of the person who wrote it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not your person. I love all kinds of poetry but to be honest I can’t judge. Even those sumptuous incentives won’t make me volunteer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have a pretty good poet or three or read your blog, hopefully they might be prepared to step up. Poetry, to most of us who didn’t take the university level courses, is a pretty subjective thing. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. arlingwoman says:

    I read poetry, but am largely ignorant of form. It speaks to me or doesn’t, as someone referred to above. I’ve been astonished at the level of skill in some of the blogs and wonder where we got the idea that only certain people were poets. I’d be happy to look through your sheaf and think about it. I’ve learned that there are three types of comments: spot on; someone not reading carefully and way off; and the comment that’s off, but because something isn’t right and it gets you thinking and on your way to fixing the issue. I’ll drop an email in the contact me section.


  9. Hey Geoff, I’d love to do some beta reading for you, but would not trust myself to poetry. The rational and mechanics of almost every form are lost on me and rarely can I pull out the point the poor author was trying to convey.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I would be delighted to give you my two cents worth. I would want to do it through email rather than putting my comments on line. My email is Let me know if you want content comments, form comments, or just general responses to what you have written.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Norah says:

    Good on you, Geoff, for giving poetry a go. This is a fine piece included here. I’ll await the finished product. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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