Thursday 18 May 2017

Poems and Anger

Journeying through comprehensive school in North East England in the mid 1980s has, not to underplay this, given me a certain perspective on the world. 

As a sensitive and slightly showy off soul I found myself at drama classes, this slightly confused some of my peers and family and unkind words were used and that really is putting it nicely. Lets just say it wasn't a hotbed for the arts and delicate souls.

When I watched Billy Elliot years later for the first time I almost had to be hospitalised due to my flashbacks.

Now I look at most of the arts with a subtle blend of ignorance, admiration and bemusement. 

Anyway, I'm not sure why I said all that. 

In the vain attempt to broaden my horizons I bought a book of poetry to take on my recent hols. I was determined to read a poem a day and ponder it. That and I though it might impress my fellow holiday makers and perhaps broaden my education.  I'm not sure about poems and have a genuine fear of people offering to read me 'their poems'. 

I chose Lemn Sissay's book Gold from the Stone. I didn't get far before a phrase jumped off the page. 

                                         ‘Anger is an expression in search of love’ 

I couldn't get past it, so I stopped. I pondered. I liked the words, the shape and form, they rattled round my head and strangely my heart. I could't fathom out what they meant though. I offered them to the GoodMrsC and she agreed, top words.

Anger is an expression in need of love, what the hell does that mean? I gave up and got on with my stuff. I asked a clever friend a few weeks after I got back, 'how do you know if poetry is good?'. He said it's simple, it's good if you like it. Now I see, but what do those words mean? Why do they rattle round my insides. So four weeks later it dawned on me.  

We see a lot of anger. 
Anger is like the words in Blackpool Rock, it runs through everything we do as a family. 
It's either overt or suppressed. 
We dance around it, we duck it, figuratively and literally, we explain it away and distract it. 
We try not to be drawn in by it but it wants everyone to play too. 
Anger is a bully and a brute. Anger hides and distracts. 

Anger is a funnel that all my children's anxiety, worry, stress, doubt, shame, frustration, disappointment and sadness are pushed through. 

I think I get it.

Yes, anger is an expression in search of love.


  1. I love the way you write.

    Anger is an expression in search of love. Made me stop and think too. Feels very true when I think about it. And a very good and helpful thing to keep in my head.