Every now and then there’s a poetry blog post that stops you in your tracks. One that lets you access the excitement, the awe if you like, of being inhabited by a poem as you write it, and then inhabits its readers.Thanks for this, Helen Mort


On Friday last week, I was lucky enough to be part of an event at Leeds University to celebrate the remarkable life and career of poet Ken Smith who died in 2003. A new volume of his Collected Poems have been published by Bloodaxe. I’m sharing a piece written for ‘Stand’ magazine about Ken’s influence on my own poetry.


Fox and Bloodhound


As a teenager falling in love with poetry, I thought of Fox as the bold, definite creature that slunk into Ted Hughes’ poem ‘The Thought Fox’ with a ‘hot stink’, printing the page in its wake. Fox was smouldering, certain and momentary. Brought up on books like Hawk Roosting, I could imagine no other kind of poetic animal. When I eventually wrote my own poem ‘Fox Miles’, it seemed almost sacrilegious to have created a personal version of this archetype, a creature who ran beside me…

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