This book of poetry by Jim Duff delves into topics of love, nature, religion, materiality, and mortality through the eyes of gods.

 

Thoughts both existential and personal are expressed with passion, colour, and dazzling creativity as the gods of Love, Reason, Industry and Rhetoric lament and celebrate their work, and the sublime unpredictability they observe on Earth.

 

As the stories of these gods, present in both masculine and feminine forms, personify the beauty and pain of nature into magnificent sentient forms, Duff's imagery is framed in a romantic, fantastical context which, contained in a structure of stanzas, convey the liminality and freedom of the Life at the heart of this book.

 

We spoke with Jim about his earliest experiences writing poetry, fusing his words with his understanding of rhythm and lyricism and his future artistic journey.

 

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When did you first start writing poetry? And what made you decide to write a complete poetry anthology?

 

I have been writing songs since I was 15, but it wasn't until I reached 50 that I embraced traditional poetry. Interpreting the world poetically and capturing my thoughts and ideas in songs has been a daily ritual for me for as long as I can remember, serving as a foundational part of my existence. The idea to compile an anthology of poetry came from a simple desire to document thoughts and ideas in a way that conveys the intricacies of life.

 

 

The themes of your work, according to your book's blurb, are "Love, Reason, Industry and Rhetoric". How did you come write about these ideas?

 

The themes of "Love, Reason, Industry, and Rhetoric" surfaced during a particularly challenging period in my life – my battle with stage four cancer. This journey was not just a physical trial but also an emotional confrontation with the fragility of life.

 

During that time, I used poetry as an outlet to face fundamental questions about existence, purpose, and human connection. Exploring these themes became integral aspects of my worldview, shaping my perspective on life and infusing my poetry with depth, which ultimately led to a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me.

 

 

Music is an integral part of your life, as a self-described songwriter, musician and music producer. Writing poetry also requires an understanding of rhythm and lyricism, so how do you think your love of music has impacted your work?

 

My passion for music absolutely influenced my poetry. As a songwriter, musician, and music producer, I've spent countless hours developing rhythms and melodies that form the backbone of musical expression. As you pointed out, this intimate familiarity with music provided me with a unique understanding of rhythm and lyricism, which are equally vital components of poetry.

 

Furthermore, my experiences as a musician instilled a sense of storytelling and emotional expression in me, which are fundamental to both music and poetry.

 

 

Are there any poets that you can point to as direct inspiration? If not, what does inspire you to write?

 

William Blake directly influenced me in that reading his work inspired me to start writing poetry. His poetry resonated with me immediately and I felt compelled to explore this alternate avenue for creative expression.

 

Music has always been integral to my existence, as essential as breathing. It's not just something I do; it’s who I am. My work is very personal to me, and my creative process in both music and writing is a fully committed experience that drives me.

 

Honestly, what truly inspires me above all else is life itself—the experiences and emotions of life fuel my creativity and drive my passion for both music and poetry.

 

 

And finally, what are your creative plans moving forward?

 

Looking ahead, my creative plans are straightforward – to continue expressing myself through words and music.  A sequel to Pantheon of the Senses is currently in progress, as well as a collection of standalone poems.  

 

And naturally, there's always more music in development.

 

 

Pantheon of the Senses is available in paperback.