Sunday, January 13, 2008

Poetry audiences don't drink enough, apparently, so Monday was the last of the Bath Can Openers "Poetry & a Pint" nights at the Raven pub (Quoth The Raven "Nevermore!" quipped Brian) before removing to The Rummer from next month. Linda Saunders and Sue Boyle were guests, sharing poems about journeys & time with each other and with us. "Time is to nature endless, and as nothing"... Linda wove these words from geologist James Hutton into a thoughtful piece on the ephemerality and endlessness of life itself. Her poems have been called luminous and tender, which they are, but both these poets' words leave a profound reflective aftertaste too.
And with time and journeying, and the new moon - Moon of Wands - I'm using the wafer-thin connection of Omar Khayyam for this image of my new stained-glass front door panal, created by talented Frome artist Tamasine Pritchard:
"The Bird of Time has but a little way to fly — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing."
These are my swallows. I can see them from my study.

Poet Rose Flint led the first Self-Help Writers Group workshop of 2008 around a theme of resolutions. A full group, and some lovely pieces written and shared. Here's some trivia of mine, from the exercises:

Let us praise New Year resolutions, their pusillanimous tyranny,
and let’s praise their abandonment half way through January.
Let’s eat more cake, and talk about it too. Let’s praise
the boringness of diets, and that long debate about detoxing,
how much we don’t need this big glass of Pinot Grigiot
- would be just as happy without it! - oh go on then, I’m not driving.
Let’s admit that this new year will be just like the last: a wrangle
with discipline which your more articulate decadence will win.
Let’s praise the clich├ęs and faux logic we’ll find to let us off the hook:
“Be gentle on yourself – it is winter time, after all.” “Men like love handles.”
Ah, the love handles of our lives, the soft slack self-indulgence
that under-bellies every good intention. Let’s praise bad intentions.
Take courage, take heart. A toast to whatever is hidden in the dark.

'The Trouble with Marriage' has caused a local furore. So 'Exwife' author Debby Holt tells us in her witty speech at the launch of this her third book at Waterstones on Thursday. Her husband is receiving compassionate calls requiring him to respond that he doesn’t think he has separated but will look into it... As there are too many of us to sit for a reading, Debby beguiles us instead with a passionate talk about love songs: specifically those of Eric Clapton, who had ‘something in common with Shakespeare, Hardy, and Shelley, in that they were wonderful at writing about the first throes of love but no good at all at writing about what happens when those first few weeks of passion are over - about how you keep a relationship going. That's the really interesting thing. Any questions?'
Yes. 'Will your book be in the self-help section?' Possibly not, but it's sure to be in the best-seller lists.

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