Post-weekend Poetry 047: Insincere by Sophie E Tallis

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the forty-seventh poem in this series. This week’s piece is by novelist, short story author, poet and illustrator Sophie E Tallis. You can read my interview with Sophie here.


People thought I was being ‘Stevie Smith’, very angst and prone to drama.

If you’re old you’re ‘clinically depressed’…understandable really…all those wrinkles staring back, more years behind than in front, a slow decay of time and body.

If you’re ‘middle-aged’ you’re simply in a rut. “Snap out of it!” they say, you’re not the self-obsessed youth you used to be, no time for such indulgences.

If you’re young you just can’t win. The loudest voice in the room but nobody’s listening.

Insincerity drips off the young who have a predisposition for blue… My youth has flown away now, my student days a haze – melancholic writings to paraphrase.

But then as now, my blue is simply a part of me, not showy, not angst…quite healthy now actually.

No longer just wearing black, colour creeps and leaves its residue, a hue to match my mood.

So no, I’m not waving or drowning, not making a statement, not needing help, quite happy, contented, as much as I can be, not full of old rage and hated resentments. Moving on, moved on… nasty neighbours but nice place, like the view…not insincere, not pretentious…simply blue.


I asked Sophie what prompted this piece and she said…

The inspiration behind ‘Insincere’ was really based on the misconceptions and generalisations people have about other people. We are always so keen to pigeon-hole.

Even though I am a naturally happy, bubbly character, as with all of us, that is not the only facet to my personality. Many of us have a duality about us, more so perhaps for semi-public figures. As a teacher, not only do you lose some of your anonymity but part of your job is to make the children in your care feel comfortable and happy while they are learning. Therefore, even when I’m feeling awful or down, I’ll often have a fixed smile on my face for the children’s sake. It’s not a conscious act, but just something I do quite naturally. However, it does perpetuate the misconception that I’m always a ‘happy shiny’ person. Those that know me well, know that I’m somewhat of an onion, with many layers and not all of them light!

Just like me. 🙂 Thank you, Sophie.

Sophie E Tallis is an epic fantasy author and illustrator, poet and short story writer. Originally from a sleepy village north of Bristol, she currently lives in the Cotswolds with her family and her two enormous white wolves!

She works as a full-time teacher and has been inspiring young children for the past 14 years. However, her first passion has always been for writing stories and poetry, which she has done since she was a child.

A painter and artist, she divides her time between writing, teaching and her artwork. She adores travelling when she gets the chance, and has a profound love of landscapes, particularly those of New Zealand and Dartmoor, which she finds very inspiring.

She enjoys stargazing, playing chess, watching films (particularly fantasy & sci-fi), ‘world-building’ and buying yet more bookcases for her growing library! She describes herself as a lover of wild places and the written word and is a bit of a self-confessed nerd! When asked what her interests are, she usually smiles and replies, “EVERYTHING!”.

Sophie’s debut novel ‘White Mountain – book 1 of The Darkling Chronicles’ is now available from and


If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with science fiction & fantasy author Sarah Ettritch – the five hundred and fiftieth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays.

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