The Financial Times
"I recite poems for money on the street"
Gary Dexter as told to Spencer Brown
September 2, 2016
I approach people in the street and say: "Excuse me for bothering you, do you have a favourite poem? If so, I can try and recite it from memory."
I have memorised enough poems to fill a medium-sized anthology and I earn about £12 an hour on the streets of Norwich and London — that’s better than minimum wage and it’s more enjoyable than most office jobs.
The most requested poem is ...
Much of the poetry we know and love is more than 100 years old, which gives you an indication of its staying power. It has a spiritual value and the capacity to produce feelings of the sublime. I am particularly fond of TS Eliot and Larkin, and enjoy Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s observation that prose is "words in the best order", but poetry is "the best words in the best order".