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Is Poetry a Crime?

Being in lockdown for a period of two years provided plenty of time for soul-searching and reflection, although one of the questions I never considered in any of that process was whether poetry was a crime?

The question came to light when visiting a bookshop in my local town last week and I decided to have a peruse around the poetry section. After a long while, I eventually found a scant collection of poetry books and, to my surprise, discovered them listed in the CRIME category. The photo heading this post is provided as evidence.

Now I know some of my poetry offerings have bordered on criminal, but I feel this kind of behaviour is an unsolicited attack on poetic liberties.

I tracked down the bookshop manager and offered him an opportunity to give his side of the story. Apart from a few ineligible grunts, and a shrug of his shoulders, he was unable to shed any light on the matter.

On returning home, I went through my police service archives. At no point did I ever arrest anyone for the offence of poetry, or remember being called to give evidence in any case of poetic injustice. An internet search did provide a reference to a book by crime writer Michael Connelly called, The Poet, though that appears to be pure fiction.

So, please poets, keep a watchful eye when going about your daily poetry business. It seems there may be something sinister afoot.

If you hear or see any attempts to criminalise poetry, please let me know.

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