About this site


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This site began in 2009 and features poems and verses by John Stevens, now publishing under the pen name John Looker. The pen name avoids confusion with other writers, and also honours my mother and her father.


WELCOME 

I began this blog with a poem that contains the following thought:

” … any idea, charged with emotion or imagination,
can be put into plain language;
but it lives longer, travels farther,
changes more lives
as poetry. “

That being the basic idea behind the blog, I originally called the website “The poetry:prose/prose:poetry converter”, taken from that initial poem which pretended that you could now buy a device, or an app, to turn prosaic thoughts into poetry and vice versa:

“Today sees the launch of a new and exciting product
made for your pocket or bag:
the poetry:prose/prose:poetry converter.
We call it
the  P4C … “

If you would like to read that poem in full, you will find it under the tab marked “The first poem”.

COMMENTS AND FEEDBACK

You will find other poems posted on the home page, reached by clicking the title of the blog. I hope you will find something worthwhile. I’m grateful for comments, favourable or critical, and have found many of the responses encouraging and thought-provoking. Don’t hesitate to register adverse comments – these have often been highly instructive.

THE HEADER PHOTO

The picture above is a view of the coast in north east England (Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland), taken from a photo by Tom Stevens – see http://theweedsandwilderness.wordpress.com  

I like the way this picture combines the grandeur of the natural world with human life, both past and present.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I live in south east England with my wife. Now retired, there is more time for a life-long interest in literature and above all in reading and writing poetry.

In January 2015, Bennison Books published my first book, a paperback of poems under the title The Human Hive. The poems look at life through work: we experience so many emotions while at work; the things we do help to define our identities; the poems look at people through the ages and around the globe, trying to explore human nature by thinking about the the things we do in life. 

The Human Hive, by John Looker, was accepted by the Poetry Library for the UK’s national poetry collection and is available through Amazon at:

http://amzn.to/1yVWQA9

or at Amazon UK:

http://amzn.to/1uSZ2bK     

 and at other national Amazon sites.

Some of my poems have been republished elsewhere, including recently:

  • “When Time and Space Conspire”‘ an anthology celebrating twenty-five years of the Austin International Poetry Festival, published 2017;
  • The Wagon, an international literary journal based in Chennai, India – see https://thewagon.com ;
  •        Poetry Breakfast, a daily online poetry journal from New Jersey in the USA at  https://poetrybreakfast.com .

 

 

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Responses

  1. Just getting started with this blogging stuff. Exploring sites for like-minded indivudals to share poetry and/or comments about it. Not limited to poetry, though, and not interested in those Top 100 sort of sites – just plain talk among colleagues. See http://www.writingsbystone.wordpress.com to evaluate potential common ground.

    Like

    • My blog is very new and your comment is the first outside those from my family – so it’s very welcome! I’ve checked your own site and found poems there that I’ve enjoyed, and I’m now subscribing. I like the accessibility and the imagination. I look forward to new postings.

      Like

  2. I’ll have to figure out that subscribing stuff and all the RSS, comment, rely options. Glad you visited my site.

    Don’t expect coments from me too often. I’ll reply to anything (when I’m available) and drop by from time to time, commenting when it seems appropriate. Off on a three week trip to Montana and Alaska later this week – no communications from there, which is one reason for going.

    Like

  3. Hi, John.
    First of all, let me say that it is really nice to have comments written by you in my website. This feedback you are giving me as you read my poems is very important; as you know, I’m Brazilian and my first language is Portuguese, not English.
    May I ask you for your email so we can be in touch more often? You can send me an email whenever you have the chance; it’s joseruypc@hotmail.com
    Hugs,
    José Ruy

    Like

  4. Thank you for your comments on the last two you read. Yes, I very much try to keep a musicality in my work but I’m trying to experiment in how to embrace all of that – to actually contain the music within the words that you read as well as the words that you hear… if that doesn’t sound overly arty and impossible, haha. And Brighton is all about Hove residents but as I was comissioned for the Brighton festival, I had to use a little bit of artistic licence. The 6’4″ gnome was particularly pleased with his stanza but unfortunately, the old chinese woman died shortly after they pulled her wall down. It really was her life. Very sad. Thank you again.

    Like

  5. I am looking forward to more of your poems. I have subscribed to your blog because it looks so cool. Have a nice day.

    Like

  6. I’m looking forward to reading your poetry, but I have to comment on the photo too. It feels like I should know this place. I have lately been unable to get enough of anything to do with British history. I just finished watching all the discs of the movie epic “Pillars of the Earth”, and I was glued to “The Tudors” every time it aired, though I think it was a bit over dramatized. Reading material, too, has lately favored British mystery writers and poets. Maybe it’s my Scotch/Irish heritage coming to forefront. Is it possible to be homesick for a place you have never seen?

    Like

    • Thank you. About ‘homesickness’ – could it be a universal need to feel in touch with our roots? Living in south east England I’m on top of mine. We live not far from Hever Castle where Anne Boleyn lived, equally close to the Tudors’ Hampton Court, nearer still to the Pilgrims’ Way of Chaucer’s Tales.

      Like

  7. Like the photo you’ve selected, John.

    Since you’re using it as a backdrop for two poems, I figured I’d also tell you that it evokes a feeling of vague uneasiness in me. At least at first sight. There’s a lot going on in that photo. It’s busy, visually. I look closer and see order and perhaps even beauty. If nothing else, it makes me pay attention.

    Like

  8. John,
    Ethel and I have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. You’ll have to go to fourwindowspress if you don’t know about it, and if you follow the instructions you’re a winner. We are mainly trying to let you know how much we honor you and your work, so you may or may not chose to accept the award. That’s up to you, but we certainly think you are worthy of more than this one gesture of thanks for you and your poetry.

    Like

    • That is really kind of you both; thank you. I must read up on it. More important than being nominated is the simple fact that you and Ethel (who write really good poetry) like reading some of the pieces I post.

      Like

  9. happy new year from David in Maine USA

    Like

  10. hope all is well in your neck of the woods

    David in Maine USA

    Like

  11. Light with depth! I like the thought and admire the start you have made. I look forward to more. Happy blogging.

    Like

  12. I love the notion of the P4C. I’ll buy it.

    Like

  13. hi!

    Like

  14. Hi John. It would be great if you could subscribe to pond songs.wordpress.com since I’m gradually phasing out tomdevelyn.info
    Thanks, Tom

    Like

    • I’m glad you prompted me Tom. Now done.

      Like

  15. AND NOW! Very sorry, John, but I’ve figured out how to combine all my blogs into one blog, so the songs now have a page at http://tomdevelynblog.com/pond-songs-2/
    just posted this week’s song there.

    Like

  16. Excellent work here. Also, I love the banner photo.

    Like

  17. I read the comment you left on Tom D´Evelyns Interpretation of “Another Westminster Bridge” by Alice Oswald. You wrote that you worked in these described strip- lit offices seeing the Themse through the window. I´m very interested what kind of offices here are ment and located there in general. Becuase i´m working on an interpretation of this poem at university. I thought she is talking about the Houses of Parliament situated in the Palace of Westminster. Rading the poem this way, it would be a critique on the political structures and administration. Looking forward to your reply

    Like

  18. Hello Anna. I wil try to help you. I’m busy this morning but will try to reply this afternoon. John

    Like

    • Anna – could you please give me your email address to reply to?

      Like

  19. Anna.Kulm@web.de
    Thanks a lot

    Like

  20. Hello John, I decided to make my blog private and I sent you an invitation to be a reader/viewer using this contact: johnstevens@wordpress.com. I am sorry to bother you with this, but I’d like to know if you received this invitation. Thank you, John. I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the season and approaching Christmas. In peace, Anna

    Like

  21. I love the opening bit about poems traveling farther with the thoughts/feelings they contain…. and I confess I was hoping you had invented a “converter”!!

    Like

    • Someone somewhere is probably working on it right now! Thank you for visiting and commenting.

      Like

  22. Surfing in foreign lands eh? ….. you’re not too old to have a go yeself young John, and thanks.

    Like

  23. Congratulations, John Looker! May your book also travel far and change lives.

    Like

    • Thank you very much. Now wouldn’t that be nice?! John L

      Like

  24. I found you via Cynthia Jobin’s site. Nice work here.

    Like

    • Thank you for stopping by and for introducing yourself. A lot of nice people meet through Cynthia Jobin’s blog, I’ve noticed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, indeed. I’ve found some good writers to follow on Cynthia’s. Always inspiring.

        Like

  25. Thought that photo looked familiar! Visited northumberland earlier this year. we have a beautiful coastline here, too, in north Yorkshire.

    Like

  26. Dear John, Please visit http://thewagonmagazine.com/ and voice your views please

    Like

    • I’ve visited your magazine site, Chitha, but I don’t see any way to comment there. Nonetheless I wish you success. I like the idea of another forum that brings together poetry from different parts of the world. One of the glories of the internet is its cosmopolitanism – at least for those who wish to step out of their silos.

      Like

      • Dear John

        each post page has the comment column at the bottom. How did you miss it? My email id is thewagonmagazine@gmail.com. Please mail me. I need your mail id to generate username and password please

        Like

  27. And now to this:

    ” … any idea, charged with emotion or imagination,
    can be put into plain language;
    but it lives longer, travels farther,
    changes more lives
    as poetry. “

    Those happened to be my favorite lines of your poem, and I’m glad you reinforced them here. It’s a powerful statement, which reinforces the necessity for the very existence of poetry. And it’s also an incentive for a poet to continue writing poetry no matter what. (Methinks it might serve as an effective battering ram against writer’s block….) Thank you! 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you Betty. I’m glad you like those lines – I suppose they are close to being a manifesto.

      Liked by 1 person


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