Early yesterday I got chatting to my coworkers about Colin Craig, disgraced local conservative MP and property mogul, who’s emails wooing his secretary got shared publicly during the ensuing courtcase.

Now I’m not here to cast aspersions or anything like that. I’m interested in poetry, or more specifically, the opinion actual poets have on his poetry. However I didn’t want peoples preconceptions about our subject to muddy the waters. So I posed as the hero of the story, and simulated the events as closely as I could to give our poet a proper amount of context. So here’s the email I sent to Jamie, coworker and publisher of two books of poetry. I’d like to reiterate this is the unedited exchange (apart from the hyperlink on the poem title).

From: Izak
Subject: Could I get some pointers on this poem?

Hey Jamie (+cc’d others) I’m in the middle of having an affair and I’m trying to write a poem for this secretary.

I’m trying to woo her with this very nice poem. Could you give me some pointers in terms of structure and content etc?

Two of Me

There is only one of me, it’s true
But I wish this were not the case, because I wish I could have you
If instead one man I was two
That would be one for all the other and one of me for you.

How’s it looking so far?

From: Jamie
Subject: Re: Could I get some pointers on this poem?

I have so many questions right now I’ll come back to you with poem structure in about half an hour, my mate. Morally, I feel I shouldn’t be condoning an affair, but the poem doth breathe as a beast in thine breast, so I must surrender to it. I’ll inform the media; mothers hide your daughter’s. Until later, fellow poet

From: Izak
Subject: Re: Re: Could I get some pointers on this poem?

Beautiful response, I’m in good hands

From: Jamie
Subject: Poem feedback

Dear Sir fellow poet,

What honour to hear from you this weary day, for I feared thus that I were not to hear such passion, but I alas was wronged by your grace.

Pray me start on the opening line: “There is only one of me it’s / true”. That number – that ‘one’ – rising proudly its head. The irony being its position in the piece. It is as though, pray, that you speak on a celestial body. One sun, one moon; for who are we to tell that you are trying to make a God out of it? Are we not as holy poets creators of realms unknown by mere mortals?
Moving onto the next line: “but I wish”. To wish is to foresee for a poet and to withstand a power of transmogrification! Hark, how mine eyes forebear such truth! And then your promise to this adulterer! How you wish so painfully to split unimaginably into two beasts with the same name! Is that your moon and sun, I wonder? Maybe. Only the poet knows!
Such a gentle finish too. That rhyming couplet at the end. So gentle and quiet, but loud and jarring.
From me to you, Sir Poet, I swear it true. This is a fine art you have shared. The secretary will be pleased by your efforts.
Yours always, in poetry and in life,
Jamie ‘big tits’ Trower