It has been pointed out to me that poets can be supercilious, even disdainful and patronising with regard to other artists. Some have gone so far as to suggest we sneer at those lesser breeds without the law.
Here I must strongly protest my innocence of these charges. Yes, other poets may bolster their flagging self-esteem by deriding others, but that is not something that I, Tallis Steelyard, the finest poet of my generation, feel the need to do.
Obviously I make the occasional exception, mainly for those young men who sing nauseating and syrupy ballads. Indeed I am willing to extend the exception to those ink-spattered scribblers who produce the lyrics for them to sing. But by and large I respect my fellow professionals.
Now it so happened that I was recently thrown into the company of a number of ladies, many of them writers of varying sorts of…
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