Briefly Think ~ 1

Where does the person end and the poem begin?

Briefly Think ~ Where does the person end and the poem begin?

Who owns poetry? Where does a poem begin? Can you catch the setting sun?

Briefly Think is a tiny new chapter for our little literary space. Open-ended, endlessly thoughtful, thought-provoking, provocative questions. With answers that can be non-answers, half-answers or, simply, answers.

After receiving an incredible response to our first call for submissions, we have chosen 15 essays that do something interesting, entertaining or troubling with the prompt. Each one sparkles, sizzles and stretches language and meaning this way, that way, those ways… whether reflecting on dreams, space, myth, language, politics, memory, time, art, language or all of these things at once.

A poem is space, alliteration, what happens after. It is a portable word game and patience and lines on a page. A person is place and essence and hope and risk. Personality, forgetful… forgiving: a bunch of water walking around making questionable choices.

Our contributors have created and crafted short essays that demand to be re-read. The accompanying quotes and word associations complete the picture, cast new light or contradict everything that has gone before.

Happy reading! Please do let us know what you think.

Daniel & Elinor


Ankit Raj Ojha, ‘Becoming Poetry’

Karen Macfarlane, ‘Tracks, flight-paths and bee-lines’

Adesiyan Oluwapelumi, ‘Self-Portrait as a Poem’

Thomas Mixon, ‘Syllables’ Irreverent Borders’

Beattie, ‘Who owns poetry?’


Sarang Bhand, ‘Fire & Heat’

Lawrence Bradby, ‘Writers Making Space’

Jayant Kashyap, ‘On Beginnings: Person and Poem’

Ian Ledward, ‘Can you catch the setting sun?’

Debra Williams, ‘Ouroboros’


Halle George, ‘The Moment’

Ilias Tsagas, ‘The DNA of Poetry’

Mark Goodwin, ‘The Person End of the Poem’s Beginning’

Leanne Drain, ‘Poetry is the true art of getting better’

John Ganshaw, ‘River of Life’

We asked our contributors to respond to the words PERSON and POEM with the first word or expression that came to mind. Here’s what they said…

Ankit Raj Ojha ~ weathered / water

Karen Macfarlane ~ personality, essence / wild, constrained

Adesiyan Oluwapelumi ~ Sylvia Plath / Daddy

Thomas Mixon ~ place / space

Beattie ~ Christ / Plath

Sarang Bhand ~ hope / reflection

Lawrence Bradby ~ citizen, comrade, immigrant, stranger, human, face / portable word game

Jayant Kashyap ~ human (forgetful—forgiving—) / understanding, patience

Ian Ledward ~ When I think these words, | turmoil fills my mind | with faces, things | and places left behind. | The Poem: one of many | I still can’t find in that palimpsest | of memory. People: please be kind.

Debra Williams ~ other / lines on a page

Halle George ~ a bunch of water walking around making questionable choices / what happens after

Ilias Tsagas ~ other(s) / Ancient Greece

Mark Goodwin ~ place | from where and in | to which places flow / bone | papery white and part | of our skeletons’ alphabets

Leanne Drain ~ my guardian angel, Grandad / alliteration

John Ganshaw ~ risk / heart

Want more Briefly?