It has to be said that people can be a little dismissive about the dangers inherent in the occupation of jobbing poet. They point out that young men who go on to serve with one of our Condottieri captains must brave the blades of their foes. This is of course true, but at least they get to do this wearing armour. People would look askance at me if I were to start declaiming my work wearing a suit of demi-plate.
But while it is rare that we have to face cold steel, there are other dangers. Those who have never been forced to perform for a patron don’t realise just how real they are.
Many years ago now I used to be asked to take part in poetry readings given by the Askhew sisters. These two ladies, Nihilia and Sinilia, passed away some years ago and I doubt we will…
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