1 Oct

Like the advice given to budding photographers, especially photo-journalists,  in the old days, ‘always carry a camera,’ there’s sound sense in always having a pen and piece of paper or notebook available if you want to write. Sometimes it’s a way of making up for the boredom of waiting for a bus, or in this case a one-to-one student who’s decided not to turn up to his or her class but hasn’t bothered to tell anybody.  I decided to fill the time with writing something. There are several things you can do. You can describe the empty classroom, the sounds outside, both in the corridor and on the street and what is suggested by them. You can use the classroom as a way of inspiring memories of your own schooldays, that’s assuming you want to remember them or are brave enough to remember them without necessarily wanting to.

I ended up doing only the second of these options. I wrote one poem based on my experiences as a teenager and young adult , but actually the classroom featured nowhere except in its references to mythology. The second poem was totally connected, it was inspired by one of those creative writing prompts; what would you do if you went back to school again, which I took to mean that  if you went back in time and went to school again, what would you change about your time there. The poem wasn’t full of regret, je ne regrette rien,  it just told me how useful retrospect is.


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