Endings Beginnings

New Poetry Library, Manchester Metropolitan University

It is finally done, almost two and a half years, overall !!! The work for a Masters’ Degree in Poetry has ended. My submission for the final dissertation has been dropped into the electronic box. There is just the waiting for results and feedback.

I have a hollow feeling inside like something is gone and there is nothing to replace it. I have made lists of things to be getting on with, but the only thing I do is rewrite them again and again.

I know in my head that there needs to be an ending and then a new beginning, but another part of me is trying to fill the void. I want to get on with writing but it won’t come. I have started walking 7-8 kilometres a day which is good for me but it tires me so I don’t have the energy for the writing even if I did have something to write about. And I have questions. Is this the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end? Have I no more writing left in me? I have done all this learning and for what?

I do know that I could never write to order. It doesn’t work like that for me. I include the poem below that I wrote during one of my many starings at the wall moments early on in the course. It resonates with what I’m feeling now.

The building in the photograph is the new Poetry Library in Manchester Metropolitan University. I had hoped that it would have been open in time for me to have one semester studying there, but events overtook it.

I can say that I have loved every minute of my time, every panic, every deadline, every staring like a rabbit in the headlights on the course. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It was a brilliant way to start retirement from paid work.

  • swirling in the mist of words


    drained, strained, almost in despair

    I sit engulfed in poems along four walls



    nothing comes from the inside,

    the inner well of words has evaporated



    the radio riffs a lively

    jazz tune syncopated on vibraphone



    that is all I can say now

    a line will not make itself known



    Peter Clarke 2019