The Poem and Guiding Questions
The poem plays with the conventional 14-line sonnet form - as does 'Poem'.
'The way I've treated incidents at school... I've made them into folklore and myth and legend.
'I think the temptation is always to imagine that if the word 'I' appears in a poem, it's the author talking about him or herself, and I think poets know that so they're very slippery about it and I think they wind people up in poems with... playing around with identity and persona.
'I was trying to get people to react, whether they were disgusted by the poem, or they were moved by it. I just wanted them to react.
'I don't want to wave flags at the end of poems - I don't want to sort of shoot out that little gun where a flag comes down and says, "Bang! This is what it means." I want to leave people with the question, not the answer.'