Frequently Asked Questions

John Barclay find a purse in the street

John, who is your favourite poet?   Shakespeare.

What is your favourite poem?   At the moment, it’s ‘Warming Her Pearls’ by Carol Anne Duffy. Tomorrow, it could be ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Fickle, aren’t I?

What is your favourite humorous poem?   ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ by Lewis Carroll.

What is your best poem?   I haven’t written it yet.

What is the point of poetry?    Like all art, it’s to get what’s inside you out and into other people – a bit like French kissing.

Where was the strangest place you performed?   Sainsbury’s car park during trading hours.

Where do your ideas come from?   The need for a piece for a particular audience or occasion, a dream, a news item, a phrase overheard or an idea welling up inside me like heartburn.

What has been the greatest influence on you?   Gravity.

What is your motto?   Pull your finger out.

What is your chief ambition?   To live until I die.

What are you working on now?   De-cluttering my house, my brain and my life.

Who do you usually vote for?   Politicians. They’re the only people immodest enough to stand for election.

Do you like cats?   I am indifferent to them – as they are to me.

What would you take to a desert island?   A motor boat with lots of fuel.

Were you ever scared on your trip round the world?   Yes.

What is the best thing about the world?   It’s roundness.

What is the meaning of life?   It may not have a meaning, but if I find anything out on this one, don’t worry, I’ll post it on the HOME page straight away.

Is your glass half full or half empty?   Three-quarters empty.

What is your favourite film?   Clingfilm.

Why do you wear a funny hat?   Because I’m funny.

How would you like to be remembered?   As that bloke who used to be alive.

If you’d like to ask John a question, you can do so on the CONTACT page.

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