• Kate Clarke

Proper Poets

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

There are some words only poets use, in order to sound like ‘proper poets’, aren’t there?

They always set my teeth on edge:


Shards

Fracture

Crepuscular (give me a break)

Tensile

Kinetic

Meniscus

As much as I revere our wonderful English language these words should, I think, be dropped from a precipice (there’s one of those words) into a cataract (and another), to be swallowed by a maelstrom (sorry).

Terry would never call himself a poet. But, there are words that belonged to him and to him alone, in my mind:

Honey

Honeycomb

Honeybee

Hummingbird

Camelia

Corazon

Cinnamon

Vanilla

Azalea

Tangerine

Tobacco (which Terry had the nerve to rhyme with Rickenbacker, in his song: John Lennon and Johnny Cash.)

You will find a lot of these words in Terry’s lyrics. They just fell onto the page when he sat down to write. For somebody who ate like a bird, there are a lot of foodie words on the Terry Clarke list. I’m a cook. Whenever I opened a vial of vanilla pods he would be there, at my shoulder, inhaling the scent.

I would buy jars of honeycomb at Christmas-time (he liked to receive them for Valentine's Day, too) and he would line them up on a sunny windowsill to photograph them, like quartz floating in amber. I’m beginning to think not every human being on this planet has a poet’s soul. It’s a sweet thing to be around. https://soundcloud.com/terryclarke47/i-sing-the-country-blues


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