I’ve spent a lovely weekend up in the town of Millom, Cumbria. Coincidentally it was the home of one of my favourite poets: Norman Nicholson.
Born on the outskirts of the Lake District, Nicholson’s admirers included T. S. Eliot, Ted Hughes & Seamus Heaney. His poems are written in the language of “a man talking to men”. He uses everyday terminology to succinctly describe complex emotions.
I used to think I was of the Wordsworth-esque Romantic school of thought, albeit not nearly as talented (as one review of mine pointed out). Now I think of it, I reckon my writing & thinking is more akin to Norman Nicholson’s. I.e. I’m interested in real stories about real people & real problems. His poetry is simple, direct, colloquial & earthy. He frequently makes use of local dialogue & vernacular in his poems.
Great songs & poems shouldn’t make you feel inferior, excluded, or like you’re not intelligent enough to share the sentiment. Great songs & poems should make you feel like you belong, like you’re understood, like your problems are something that can be overcome. Great songs & poems should speak to you deeply, make you ache & yearn, make you want to pick up a pen & write something great yourself.
So that’s my number 1 goal for this year; to write some great songs. Thanks Millom, and cheers Norman.