At Kings Cross underground station, London, I was approached by a young man in a suit that had seen better days. He held out a sheet of hand-written photocopied paper and said: “Would you like a street poem to hang on your wall? You can have The Clock’s A Tyrant for 50 pence”.
In my mind’s eye I imagined him shivering in a freezing attic grappling with the perfect phrase in iambic pentameter or struggling to find words that rhyme with “tyrant”. Unable to sing or play guitar, he was nevertheless, busking his wares and as such, was a fellow wordsmith, carefully putting one word after another to achieve a result – in his case to earn enough to feed the gas meter to boil a kettle; in my case to generate some publicity or marketing materials for a client.
So, as one wordsmith to another, I handed over 50p and took The Clock’s A Tyrant to read on the Tube.
It was rubbish!