How long does it take to write a poem?
by Gillian Clarke
Between twenty minutes and ten years. The shortest time ever was twenty minutes. I know exactly how long it took to write ‘Overheard in County Sligo’ because it was coffee break in a school staff room before I was taken to talk to large group of pupils. However, it took me ten years to write ‘Miracle on St David’s Day’. Of course, if you add up the actual hours spread over those ten years, I probably didn’t spend much more time actually writing and re-writing than on most of my poems: maybe twenty hours spread over a week. It just took me ten years to figure out how to write it.