Poetry Rivals 2016

Taking poetry from the page to the stage!

Find Out More About Gerry Miller, 2012 Poetry Rivals Champion...

Date Posted: 15-10-2014 11:52:28


Since winning the 2012 Poetry Rivals competition, Gerry Miller has been overwhelmed by invitations to give talk, readings and workshops both in Northern Ireland where he lives and in East Anglia where he is a frequent visitor.

 

After a career as an English teacher for thirty-five years, Gerry embarked on a ten-year span as an international lecturer and also found the time to publish his first two collections of poetry - 'Awakening' and 'Driftwood' (both of which are available on Kindle). His third collection will be published shortly.

 

At a recent U3A summer school he commented that - 'the spark for a poem can come from anywhere'. A reference to Rudyard Kipling's 'The Way through the Woods' in Louise Phillip's gripping new novel 'Last Kiss' led Gerry through an association of Keats' 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci', Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' and Seamus Heaney's 'Door into the Dark'.

 

Seamus Heaney's untimely death in August 2013 hit many of us very forcefully. Gerry felt compelled to write down the lines which sprung to mind most readily - which he has done in his tribute to him entitled 'Footsteps'.

 

Footsteps
(In memory of Seamus Heaney)

When asked for favourite lines
the poetic world will resonate with
'a four foot box, a foot for every year'
which never fails to bring a lump
to the throat, a universal tear.

Some will remember
'the warm thick slobber of frogspawn'
which takes them back to woods
and lanes and ponds and streams
from recollections of childhood.

Or 'Blackberry Picking' in carefree youth
while the 'two-lugged sacks moved in
like great blind rats' as the writer comes
to maturity and is digging with the pen
'between my finger and my thumb'.

Leading from the 'Door Into The Dark'
into 'Punishment' and the frank admission that
in a parallel modern sense
'I would have cast, I know,
the stones of silence'.

In a time-frame of life close to the master poet
I see a father who could handle his spade in 'Digging'
in the fond recollection and precision of tone.
Once I too was that father-figure.
As was my own.

And now I am the father of 'Follower'
who 'will not go away'
stumbling behind them, trying to keep up in time
but always looking for a future
when 'hope and history rhyme'.

Gerry Miller 2014

Gerry can be contacted at gerry@gerrymillerpoetry.com



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