It gives me great pleasure to introduce an exceptional poet that I meet about seven years ago on a writer’s site. His name is David Lewis Paget a citizen of Australia. We both became active members of Writer’s Café a growing community of aspiring writers. I am drawn to David by his distinct writing style of poetry. His poetry is a “Narrative Ballad Style”. He is adept in weaving wonderful stories from the time periods of early history to futuristic stories. I’m sure many of you will enjoy his work.
David was born in England in the last full year of the war in Nottingham. David’s mother wrote children stories. She would read them to him and his sister when they were young. This was her way of testing them before sending them to publishers. His mother used to send them away to producers of children’s annuals, that were usually published during Christmas in England. David could only remember seeing one, years later, a Dean & Co. annual with her story ‘The Foam Fairy’ included. She wrote under her maiden name of Lewis. Also his father would balance David on his knee and read Rudyard Kipling, John Masefield and William Blake.
His father was in the British Army and billeted there. His family originated in the Black Country, and they returned there in 1946, and then migrated to Australia in 1958 when David was thirteen.
David was forced to leave school at age fifteen. At the age of thirty-one David finally completed his education by attending university.
David married four times. He fathered seven children, twenty-four grandchildren and by April of this year, four great-grandchildren. David said most of them probably are not aware that he writes. They have their own lives, interests and none have shown any signs of following in his footsteps.
David is constantly working on new publishing projects. David creates books of around two hundred pages every three to six months. His most recent is ‘Poems of Myth & Scare’ which is available both in print and e-book through Lulu.com
Most of David’s readers are in America which is where his books are sold. David believes the majority of people surfing the net are Americans and that his own countrymen, Australians, lack a strong literary culture. He informed me that only a handful of writers from Australia are internationally known.
David started writing poetry in 1966 when he was in his early twenties, while serving in the Royal Australian Air Force. While on Guard and Duty Crew he would spend the weekends bored. On parades he often had to stand for an hour or more waiting for the brass to finish their breakfast before inspection. The RAAF Drummers would be practicing their various riffs. They were metrical and he would form sentences in time to the drums. Then a couplet , then a quatrain , and by the time he returned to the ‘donga‘ he would have a verse or two and sometimes a complete poem.
David was also inspired by Beatlemania. The Beatles were the first group to come out with artistic lyrics, akin to poetry. Eleanor Rigby for example ‘keeps her face in a jar by the door’. David calls it inspiring stuff.
David wrote introspective poetry for years. He wrote romance, about relationships, personal issues, poetry about people and their interactions with others. Occasional he would print a small book and sell them locally. He learned that the literary magazines wouldn’t publish rhymed and metered poetry. David doesn’t like free form prose. He believes it’s an easy way out. “I of course don’t agree with him, since I write many poems in free form.” David believes the only poetry that survives is poetry that tells a story, the narrative. In David’s opinion he believes the poems that survived the span of time like ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, by Coleridge, ‘The Raven’, by Poe, ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes represent the peak of achievement in poetry. David’s first book of poetry he printed himself self on a Gestetner, in the kitchen. He had bought it second-hand in a junk shop for $90.00. He said the excitement was more in the production, than in the finished product.
In 2005 David was invited to teach English at a Chinese University. He spent a year absorbing the Chinese culture, folk tales and art. He turned some of those folk tales into poems and a book titled, ‘My China‘ available at Lulu.
This is the reason he writes only narrative poetry. In 2006 he followed this idea and found not only did the poetry flow but the stories leaped out at him. The poems contribute to their own composition. David sticks to strict rules that he set for himself. First choose the appropriate meter. Second complete the first verse in quatrain or ballad format. Lastly stick to the same meter for the rest of the poem with no deviation. Also the tales need to be entertaining and absorb the reader. The poetry could be on any subject.
David’s ideas come from various sources. News articles, weird happenings or from a couple of lines that pop up from nowhere that become the final two lines of the poem.
At the age of sixty-eight David finds that he is always writing. David credits the internet is a fantastic tool in exposing his work. He has readers all over the world. This was impossible in 1966.
Thank you David for allowing me to interview and introduce you to my Word Press Friends.
David has several books for sale:
Please check out David Lewis Paget spotlight at Lulu -
1. Pen & Ink, The Complete Works, Collected Poems 1968 – 2008, 452 pages, Soft Cover $28.95 + postage only available through David.
2. Timepieces – The Narrative Poems, 220 pages, soft cover $20.00 + postage
3. At Journeys End – The Narrative Poems Vol. II 220 pages $20.00 + postage
4. The Demon Horse on the Carousel 225 pages soft cover $25.00 + postage
5. Poems of Myth & Scare, 194 pages, soft cover, $25.00 + postage this book is also available as a download
You can find David Lewis Paget and samples of his work at the following writer sites :