Saturday, May 24, 2008

Back home, the Merlin is aglow from their panto success in the Somerset Fellowship of Drama Awards, and the Frome Festival countdown has begun. Mike's already on the next round of recordings for Frome FM. Very civilised it is too, with supper and wine.

Then on Tuesday I was in Bruton to MC the Festival of Arts Poetry Slam. 'Venue T.B.A" is never a good look on a poster, so full marks to those who discovered us in the Blue Ball Hotel and shared a quirky but enjoyable event, swelled by unexpected interest from the public bar.

Poets are not always so appreciated. Philip Larkin is kicking up a kerfuffle in Frome. His most famous verses, identified in the front-page 'Outrage!' story in our local paper as "containing the F word in 2 out of 3 stanzas", have been carved on a slab as part of an art installation near a graveyard. Perhaps the Wesley Church congregation fear that mourners may find little comfort in Larkin's morose philosophy of human relations. I'd have thought it would be quite consoling to reflect on the shared inevitability of reciprocal fuck-up. Artist Cornelia Parker says bravely: "Frome has a long history of non-conformism and I hope that continues." Amen.

Footnote to the Larkin story: Emily reminds me of a cosier alternative from Adrian Mitchell: 'They tuck you up, your mum and dad...'

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