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SEP 27, 2013 - The Independent

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Great works: Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound (1914) by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Poets are an odd to lot to characterise. No one quite knows what a poet is, not exactly. They can inspire reverence, awe, and even a touch of fear in the soul of the English teacher who does not exactly get on with – or even much understand (if the truth be known) – poetry. If you were introduced to a poet at a party, what would be your opening gambit? Is a poet a bit of a seer, a bit of a memorialiser of the race? Certainly was, in days gone by. Think of Homer. Think of Blake. Is he also perhaps a healer of sorts, a doctor of the soul? We are often inclined to reach for a poem at a funeral.

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