Monday, 4 May 2020

Alex Manley : part two

Has your consideration of poetry changed since you began?

For a long time — almost the entirety of my 20s — my poetics was around relationships, romantic love, sexual attraction, and the like. I couldn’t really — on a gut level — believe in the importance of poetry about other things: family, politics, disease, place, friendship, in part because my feelings about all those things paled in contrast to the intensity of my feelings around being loved and desired at the time. But in addition to the ways in which my lived experience has changed and, it seems, the world has changed in the past few years (creeping fascism and ecological collapse, anyone?) I’ve also been reading a lot more over the past three or four years, which has helped shift my relationship with poetry, and a year and a half of cognitive behavioural therapy has helped me de-center sex and romance in the constellation of my feelings, which I think has been a really healthy shift and one that I recommend to anyone who has access to therapy.

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