Raymond who ? she said .

Raymond Carver , I replied , the American

short story writer and poet .

Never heard of him , she said

and being a year eight standard I was inclined

to believe her .

And yet it was startling how Carveresque

her writing was .

Phrases like “ I will never know where — what

shall I call him — this man has gone “

spring particularly to mind .

And I thought of the nine year old boy who wrote

like the Dickens in Pickwick Papers , for instance ;

another who wrote florid full-on verse

like Chris Marlowe

and the highly strung girl who came for one term

and wrote like Emily Bronte

though none had ever read these writers

and the year nine autiste who at times

wrote like them all .

Sylvia who ?

the manic depressive from the back

of the class called

black hair slashed across her face

as I read the opening lines of her poem

to her father

fuelled with fury and neo-Nazi imagery .

Never mind , I said

as I wondered whether the ghosts

of dead writers

had come to inhabit the young

and whether over the next few years

I’d meet an embryonic

Will Shakespeare

an Oscar

or antipodean Dostoevsky .

Collect their juvenilia .

One day I’ll make a killing

*pic courtesy of pinterest

25 thoughts on “Echoes

  1. I understand this. My father was an art teacher. I heard him tell these stories, but the names were those of artists, like Kahlo, Dali, Pollock, Klimt, and the like. I never considered that it might apply to writers as well. Hmmmm…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A thought provoking piece. Begs the question what makes a famous author, or artist. Is it only chance, that tiny moment to be discovered. After that is it only mass psychosis creating the great classics? How many undiscovered authors and poets roam the internet. Who will be the classics from our time? I bet John Malone will be one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting observations, John. You probably notice them as you’re so well read. I’ve always wondered if the book I want to write has already been written. Hasn’t it all been said before one way or another? We just say it differently because we don’t want to inadvertently copy another writer we’ve read in the past.
    I’m not sure sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am rather behind in reading blog posts – well if I am honest, in many things this year. But this post particularly caught my attention and so I must respond.

    That may well be, as others have said, a particularly gifted class of budding writers but as we all know, they require somebody to push them forward – a gifted teacher/listener/encourager. John Malone perhaps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • true; that was some years ago; they’ve all gone their own way in the world; one loses touch but I still hope that I’ll come across a book with their name on it in a bookshop 🙂 hey! and thanks for responding —


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