Friday, March 1, 2019


MARCH 2019

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What does poetry mean to you?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Poetry is some that has found me.  For as long as I can remember I have been inspired by words, there words come into my mind without me searching for them. Sometimes they come for no reason at all, at other times they are a reaction to a thought, a place, a picture, a feeling, or even a smell. They majority arrive for no reason I understand and if I were to write every word down I would have a thousand anthologies, instead of just one.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What’s according to you the meaning of poetry in the contemporary world?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: That is difficult to answer. I do not see poetry impacting the world the same as a novel or film. Poetry has an aftershock that in many cases is not felt until after an event. I think a good example of this are the poems of Rupert Brooke. I also those songwriters that at heart are poets, example Dylan and Cohen have a great impact. One of the best descriptions I heard of poetry is that ‘it was the stepchild of Literature.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Can you describe your creative process while writing a new poem?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: In depends on the subject! It depends on the inspiration!  In the main I write (rather quickly) the first thoughts that come. Then I will ponder a little (not always) over these. I am a little dyslectic, something I discovered only when I was in my teens (we didn’t have big words like that when I was young, you were regarded as just ‘slow’. So before the finished work I check (I still do not trust spellcheck) all the unsure spellings.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Did it happen to you that a poem was just your dream?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Not really, but nightmares figured in some early poems.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:Tell us about your inspiration. What’re the most important subjects to you?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Over the years this has changed, which is I suppose in a natural progression in any form of development. At present I have tended to write on things and memories of the past. I also have a great interest in Norse/Viking history and myths and I have a separate collection on Facebook of these called Poems from the Norse-lands. In these I will sometimes refer to an old saga and the Old Gods, in other I will create new stories following in the tradition of the skalds. I have included one poem this month as an example. I use the aka Löst Viking, to sign my poems and it is also my poetry page on Facebook,

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Which were the emotions that inspired your first verses?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I do not remember when I started, I was an only child in a time before even TV was in the country. So I spent a lot of time with imaginary friends. But I remember writing a poem about the donkey that brought Jesus into Jerusalem, and also about the sea, which I called H20 plus Sodium Chloride, which I thought was clever at the time. In fact it was published with another poem in the Anglo Welsh Review.

MARIA MIRAGLIA: Was your aspiration to become a poet or did all happen by chance?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I still have difficulty calling myself a poet.  When I read all the wonderful stuff that is out there by other people. People that I would consider ‘arty’ (I mean that in an artistic way). I feel comfortable when I am sometimes referred to as a storyteller. So in answer to this question, it happen because it happened.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who is the first person you read your poems to and why?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I never read my poems to anyone, in fact I kept the fact hidden from my friends that I wrote at all, but I was always regarded to be a little strange by their mothers. I have done only one public reading some years ago now in Highgate, London.  At the time there was a man called Norman Hidden, that published a monthly anthology which I had contributed too on a number of times and he invited me. I was the only Irish person there and very nervous. I have also written three plays for the theatre and found listening to other people say my words a lot easier.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Have you published any poetic anthology, if so what did you feel the first time you got it in your hands?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I have appeared in many anthologies from different parts of the world.  In 2017 I published my first solo one Poems from the Shadowlands and Poems from the Norse-lands (two sections, one general poems and the other Norse related poems).  I cannot remember feeling any special emotions when I received my copies.  Perhaps I missed something special?

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are the poets you prefer reading? Do you get inspiration from them?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: There are many poets on Facebook I like reading, sometimes I am inspired a little in what I read – nothing comes to mind as I reply here. I am still a great admirer of Robert Frost and Seamus Heaney, and the latter has inspired a number of my poems. An example is my poem Croppy Boys.

APRILIA ZANK:  How important is accessibility of meaning to you? Do you challenge the readers to work hard to decipher your poems, or do you prefer transparency of meaning?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: In a word my poems are simple, very few need deciphering. I am a sort of John Clare.

APRILIA ZANK:  What kind of poems do you write mostly? Do you have recurring themes, or are all your poems unique?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Some poems have a recurring theme, I notice I mention swans a lot, and lakes.

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you think your poetry is typically feminine / masculine? If yes, in what way?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Never thought about it as either, but in short no.

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you write mostly about yourself, or do you also have an open eye /ear for the issues of the world?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I am in many of my poems, my experiences of life are also there. Yes I have also written about contemporary issues, one recently on homeless people in Ireland was deleted by many Irish groups on Facebook.

APRILIA ZANK:  In what way is your poetry different from that of other poets?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Except that it is simple to understand, I have no idea

LEYLA IŞIK: What are the main factors to make poetry real poetry?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: There are many, I suppose experience of life is one thing.  I spent years in the French Armed Forces and I have used that to write many poems set in Africa and Eastern Europe. But then Tennyson wrote about the Charge of the Light Brigade from the comfort of his London house.

LEYLA IŞIK: Do you think imagery is important in poetry? Where does the importance of imagery begin in a poem, where does it end?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: On Facebook and my blog I like to use an image with my poem (Flustered artist syndrome I suppose).  Some poets are totally against that….to each his own.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the most used types of poetry in your country?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Lost wars, Famine, Emigration, Dreams, Drink and Love.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What’s important to be a good poet? To write good poems!

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I have no idea, I edit many of poems after they have been posted.  I would say just to be understood.

LEYLA IŞIK:   Who are the most important poets and their main properties nowadays?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I am not familiar with modern poets outside of blogs and Facebook, my life does not have all that spare time, I did hear Marilyn Chin read some of her work recently and was impressed.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  Understanding poetry begins with visualizing the central images in the poem. What do you see, taste, smell, hear, and feel? What is the imagery of your poetry?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: All of the above plus fear and sadness. And of course hope.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the mood of your poetry? (Or How does it make you feel?)

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Depends on the mood I am in when I write.  I have crossed all borders.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  In your poetry who is the speaker of the poem? Are you speaking to yourself or to others?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Again it is whatever the subject, I would say I am telling a story in many cases. I speak to myself in my head, not often on paper.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the message of your poetry?  What messages do your poetry convey?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Just what the story of the time is. I am just a simple writer of thoughts, not a sort of guru.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:   Does the internet and social media contribute to the success of your poetry? Is this the reason you write for?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: Mainly Facebook, I have a website but it is not visited often.  But here is the link if anyone is interested.

NILAVRONILL SHOOVRO: Thank you so much dear poet for the interview. We would like to know your personal experience with OPA as a literary web journal. Would you like to share anything more with our readers?

JOHN ANTHONY FINGLETON: I have been a member for a number of years now.  I have to admit I do not contribute every poem to the page.  I tend to post in a small number of groups where there is some interaction.  But I enjoy the monthly blog.

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