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Poetry for private use only

Here's a guideline that might help: if your poetry isn't as good as the lyrics of … eh ... well, let's say, someone like Lisa Hannigan, why would you bother sharing it with others? With a singer-songwriter like Lisa we get the layer of (beautiful) music AS WELL AS the (in her case, brilliant) words, so your words on the page or uttered plainly need to do something special to be worthy of attention on their own. Make sure they are. Was it Michael Longley who said 'If most of the people who call themselves poets were tightrope-walkers they'd be dead'?

Lisa Hannigan's 'I don't know':

I don't know what you smoke
Or countries you been too
If you speak any other languages
Other than your own, I'd like to meet you

I don't know if you drive
If you love the ground beneath you
I don't know if you write letters or you panic on the phone
I'd like to call you all the same,
If you want to
I am game

I don't know if you can swim
If the sea is any draw for you
If you're better in the morning or when the sun goes down
I'd like to call you

I don't know if you can dance
If the thought ever occurred to you
If you eat what you've been given or you push it around your plate
I'd like to cook for you all the same
I would want to
I am game

If you walk away, I could keep my head
We could creep away
In the dark
Or maybe now
We could shoot it down anyway

I don't know if you read novels or the magazines
If you love the hand that feeds you
I assume that your heart's been broke
I'd like to know you

You don't know if I can draw at all
Or what records I am into
If I sleep like a spoon or really at all
Or maybe you would do
Or maybe you would do

If you walk away, I will keep my head
We will feel our way through the dark
Though I don't know you
I think that I would do
I don't believe at all
At all at all at all

If you walk away, I will keep my head
We will feel our way through the dark
Though I don't know you
I think that I would do
I don't believe you at all

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