Tag Archives: poem

Don’t panic

Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army was always urging us (and himself) – “Don’t panic! Don’t panic!”

Calm during times of stress. Stoicism.

Kipling celebrated both in his poem If “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs…”

I tend not to panic. But maybe I should.

I sometimes wonder if there is a delicious sense of liberation to be discovered through panicking. Loosening up. Primal screaming. Abandoning yourself to YAH! Being drunk on unreason. Dancing crazily. Running and running without having to bother with direction. Bungee jumping away from your worries Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, media, Music

Does this make me… hardcore?

Kim Hyesoon

Last Friday I immersed myself in poetry read aloud at the Poetry Parnassus. It claims to be the UK’s largest ever gathering of poets. (Not including pubs surely?) At least one poet from every country competing in the 2012 London Olympics. It’s big.

So does even turning up make me an intellectual?

Let’s raise the stakes. I sat through repeated bouts of poetry, in Korean by South Korean poet Kim Hyesoon. So that’s Korean poetry in Korean. That must make me a hardcore intellectual.

She said, through a translator, that she’d only read short ones, the better for us to get the meaning in translation. She may need help with the translation of the word “short”.  I can tell you that she is very illustrious and pioneering and that it was an unrepeatable experience. Not to be repeated anyway.

Does that make me a philistine? (Though not in a Palestinian sense.)

Wole Soyinka thinking to himself: “Are two phones enough? Maybe I should get a third one just in case.”

Next up – Nigerian Nobel literature prize winner Wole Soyinka. I’ve read quite a bit of him. I’ve even seen him before. But the highlight of his performance was when a mobile phone started ringing during one of his readings – and the phone owner would NOT turn it off. It wasn’t until Wole came to the end of his poem that we discovered the culprit. It was Wole’s own phone ringing – conveniently amplified by the nearby microphone.

We laughed. He laughed. He turned it off. Then he took out his other phone and turned that off too.

The man has TWO phones Continue reading

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Mise Éire – The day I met… George Morrison

Like Godzilla rising from the depths, here’s another entry in the The Day I Met… Competition. This tale comes from Pól Ó Duibhir aka Póló in Ireland.

It’s the tale of his encounter with the man who put Mise Eire on the screen – George Morrison.

Mise Eire began as a 1912 poem by teacher and executed 1916 Easter Rising leader Padraig Pearse. (It’s also the title of a 1987 poem by Eavan Boland.) George Morrison made his iconic Irish language historical drama, using news footage from the period leading up to and around the Rising. It caused quite a stir when it came out in 1959.

So here’s Pól Ó Duibhir’s tale, of The Day I Met…George Morrison

I sat there, the tears streaming down my face Continue reading

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Forget paperbacks or ebooks – the next books are on T-shirts

Hardbacks, paperbacks and now ebooks too. What do they have in common? They’re old news.

You could be reading – or publishing – your next book on a T-shirt. Continue reading

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Love & writing according to Ford Madox Ford

Bitterness, rejection, suffering, loss. Must one crush broken dreams underfoot with the smell of death in one’s nostrils to produce good writing?

That’s one road. The dramatic road.

But confidence and productivity can also spring from the support and security provided by those around one. That’s my road.

I’ve been reading Ford Madox Ford‘s The Good Soldier. This passage caught my eye. He talks about love and achievement or creativity: Continue reading

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I had no dreams before I went to prison

Archbishop of York, John Sentamu

This week the Anglican Archbishop of York John Sentamu spoke out on prison conditions in the UK. The part that made headlines was when he criticised how some offenders are rewarded in jail by being provided with computer games or cable TV. Continue reading

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Islamic toilets – a plea

I’m fairly politically correct. But I was almost caught short and caught out at the weekend. Continue reading

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