"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
Sometimes when you’re commissioned to write a poem, it’s a mixed blessing. Poetry isn’t copywriting; if you can’t believe in the thing you’re writing about, it will sound fake. In poetry (as in sex) you can fake it, but the other party will know.
But this was different. When the Nationwide asked me to join their new advertising campaign, I expected the usual patter – ‘We are passionate about financial products’ etc. Instead, I found myself talking to people who really believe in the company. Having spent this week at the Nationwide’s conference with colleagues from The Poetry Takeaway, I can confirm that the people who work there seem to love it. They liked my poem too.
Many people have said that they like the idea of ‘the currency of kindness’. The poem was written the day after Donald Trump was elected. Kindness seemed especially necessary and especially valuable on that day, and we surely need it more than ever now.
Not all of my poems are about building societies, in fact only one of them is. Many of them are about friendship,some are about living on a boat, and quite a few are on relationships with all their delights and difficulties. My poetry book Kith is available here. If you’re keen to develop a poetry habit yourself, then you might enjoy my best-selling work book 52: Write a Poem a Week, which does what it says on the tin.