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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wendy Cope in Hong Kong

From an interview with Wendy Cope in Hong Kong

So you do think reading is an important part of writing?

It's absolutely crucial. One thing that really annoys all poets is when they meet somebody who thinks they're going to write poems and says they're not interested in reading any. I mean, an old man came up to me once at a literary festival and gave me a copy of his book and said: “I don't read poems, I just write them.” And he gave me this book. And, of course, I could have bet a thousand pounds that it was going to be no good before I'd even opened it, and indeed, it was no good. Which is absolutely inevitable, because the guy's not really interested in poetry.

Do you remember the first poem you wrote?

The very first poem I wrote was when I was six, because I was told to write a poem at school and it was about my teddy bear. That's the very first poem I wrote.

Was it a good poem?It was terrible.

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