Every month or so I meet up with poets Ron Scowcroft and Martin Domleo for chat about poetry. Last week was one of those occasions and the talk drifted, as it does, about recent readings we’ve been to and what’s coming up.
And we discovered that we’d all recently been to events where some poets had been wearing hats. With feathers in them. Which brought the unanimous verdict that this trend was not to be encouraged.
Indeed, I’d take it further and suggest that any form of poetic dress code involving capes, scarves, greatcoats, frills, headbands, waistcoats, cowboy boots or Doc Martens should be reported to the Poetry Society who will be obliged to issue a first formal warning to those wearing such apparel. On further transgressions the poet would be forced to attend the Glastonbury Festival.
Apart from anything else wasn’t the wearing of hats indoors supposed to be rude.
It just so happened that this week I came across a poem by Tony Curtis entitled ‘Hat’ which include the lines: I wanted a hat with gold, purple/saffron, the yellow of a buttercup,/the red of a butterfly:/so that even a stranger,/passing at a distance,/could see the poet in me.
It’s in his book ‘The Well in the Rain’ from Arc Publications.