I wrote the following on Wednesday at the airport on The Isle of Man:
Today I leave the Isle of Man. The last three days have been brilliant. The poems I heard at King William’s College today and St Ninian’s yesterday were some of best I have ever heard from students. It has made the perfect end to what has been a great visit.
My thanks go out to the Isle of Man Arts Council for having me, and to Emma and Anji who have made me feel so welcome. A special mention to Anji who first contacted me to come over here two years ago and has truly become a good friend. I shall miss you.
But I’ll be back I’m sure. I hung around at King William’s today talking to the wonderful English teachers there. It’s a private school and consequently the teachers have a freer reign over what they teach there. I have my issues with private education, both personally and politically. I believe, as John Prescott laid out in his excellent documentary on class that having a private system means that many of the best teachers and resources are attracted away from the public system. Personally, I went to a fee paying school, essentially, bar one of two truly inspirational teachers, a very poor one, and I hated it. Still, that said I believe on the whole they are able to offer a much better education because the teachers are free to teach what they feel if important to their pupils. The English teachers I have met at Eton, Charterhouse and now King Williams are able to give their students a truly passionate and unique education and they (the students) are a lot better off for it. Teachers should be empowered once more. The national curriculum is a farce. We forget most of what we learn at school anyway, at least give these passionate, intelligent, creative, and inspirational people the opportunity to guide their students how they see fit.
I took time after chewing the fat in the staff room to walk on the beach and admire the breath taking scenery that surrounds King William’s here in Castletown. I must admit that I got a little emotional. I have a spent a great deal of time on my own these past 2 weeks and I’ve done a lot of thinking and writing. I’ll be sad to leave this place behind. However, it is time to go. I miss my wife like hell and I need to get back to my life. There is also much work to be done. I found out last night that Zara Hayes (director) and I have been commissioned by Channel 4 to create a documentary. It’s called a Brief History of Love and it will be told in verse, my verse. It’s very very exciting, but at the moment I am terrified. This is probably the most significant job I have got in the last ten years of this poetry lark and I know it has to be exceptional. No doubt I’ll be posting our progress as we go along.
Right, time to board. I’m coming home!