Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Outsider

The outsider is at the periphery,
Gazing cautiously within.
He is invariably outside
The group, the circle, the clique.

He is the perennial stranger,
The one set apart
Whose only sin
Is to be true to himself.

I am that outsider.

I think you’ve got to be eased into poetry – you’ve got to get in at the shallow end and then start swimming toward Byron (if you can) – and, if you can't, I shall whisper encouragement along the way from the periphery. For I, too, am an outsider; yet one who remains ever thus because that is where I am and what I am. Colin Wilson, whom I vaguely knew (we corresponded) recognised my "outsiderness" and who better than the author of The Outsider based loosely on such as Sir Oswald Mosley whom I met and knew. I met so many outsiders in all walks of life and political persuasions back then. Colin was a great fan of Sir Oswald. Such as this will plunge you toward the periphery if you are not already there. When Colin died I remembered the iconic 1956 photograph of him seated and reading against a tree on Hampstead Heath. An image of pure poetry. In many ways are we not all outsiders looking in at the swirling meaningless mediocrity of humdrum existence where oblivion effaces the essence of the soul? My journey, I suppose, has been one of the soul in revolt against the intellect; a pursuit which hopefully might have met with some small measure of success.

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