‘E-sonnet’ by Matt Harvey for National Poetry Day

It’s National Poetry Day so what’s to do but give you a poem.  This is by the funny, wondermentalist, and all-round clever word manipulator, Matt Harvey.  Matt is quite often to be found on programmes such as Radio 4′s Saturday Live, and he was Wimbledon’s first Poet in Residence back in the summer.  Or if he’s not performing at a venue near you he’s writing poems about the home of all things alternative and complementary, Totnes.  The poem is from Matt’s new collection, Where Earwigs Dare (Green Books, 2010), which also features slugs, leeks, cows, bread, kippers, bees, and water coolers, and contains the memorably-titled poem ‘If I said you had a bit of  problem would you hold it against me?’  Buy it — you’ll love it.


Daily diaspora of signals, neural
sparks, paperless clutter, fact-opinion.
I am viral, extra-mural.  I am plural.
I’m the ‘e’ in evolution.  I’m Darwinian.
I’m the encroacher. I’m the great Instead:
of letters, notes, talk, postcards, memos, syntax –
the phisher-king preying on the easily led
the spam that seeks to fertilise your inbox.
I am the information superhighwayman
demand your time with subtle menaces
and blandishments to tempt you to reply to them –
exemplary parthenogenesis.
I breed, though I am neither male nor female.
I’m victorious. I am legion. I am email.

(Reproduced with permission)