Saturday, 20 January 2018

Greenwich, January

Without Peter, we peppered his poems across the proceedings.  Rosie emerged from the universal cough to deliver her linked verses a'shine with a devout accuracy, Quentin and I did our bit, spirits were high and books were sold.  Thank you Irena for setting up the event, celebrating the first anniversary of in-words.

It was also very nice Nnorom made it for half time - photo courtesy of SPM - and finally we meet!  The new year is full of promise.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Bright Scarf Poets, Tuesday 16 January, Greenwich

Tuesday January 16 at 7 for 7.30
West Greenwich Library, Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN
Bright Scarf Poets – Quentin Cowdry, Dominic James, Rosie Johnston and Peter Pegnall. 

The poets will sing, the audience will be moved, on that i'll bet my hat, and what a groovy spot.  There will be time to chat and we'll all be booted out precisely at 9.30.  Perfect.
Make it if you can.

More details at in-words.  We hope this is the first of many collaborations to come. This event organised by Irina and Rosie.


Sunday, 10 December 2017

The High Window, PS Review

I'm very grateful to Joanna for her review of Pilgrim Station and to the editors of High Window for including the piece in their winter issue. It is a pretty good recommendation. 
THE HIGH WINDOW




Saturday, 2 December 2017

CITN December 17

Caught in the Net, December 17, me. These are not augurs of the future, these are the good times!
Poetry Kit CITN 168: it's a comprehensive list.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Voronezh Notebooks

Mandelshtam again,
from book III, translated by Andrew Davis:

I'll sketch this out, I'll say this quietly -
Because its moment is still not evident:
The game of the unconscious sky will be
Accomplished later, with experience...

And beneath the time-soaked sky
Of Purgatory, we frequently forget
That  the blessed storehouse of the heavens
Is our home, limitless and present.

That last phrase may have heaven as "the lifelong house" of our consciousness, in David McDuff's translations. 

It is difficult to get the form from the translations, I'd gather the writing, rich in technique, is peppered with alliteration, thickened by rhymes and assonance, probably with its social reference too, even if Mandelstam never got the tone in trying to atone for his attacks on Stalin. 

All that aside, without Russian we can still enjoy the high points of  his translated verse in their un-apparelled meaning.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Chops II

Less chops than scraps, and scraps of thought at that, the least part of reactions this last day or two to my haul of books – in any bookshop's poetry section I'll snap up Mandelstam – the series does not work. 
Notebooks keep the random lines one wouldn’t want to throw away in case they turn to something more, and if they did exceed their start then still they fail to be word exercise equivalent to the musician’s daily chops, even wishing to suggest it, suggests too much. There will be no trays of snacks in rhyme for this perpetually hungry blog.  Comments…  ach.

The plash and Walkman
                   of the perennial Redgrove
                                      groping with lingam and yonii
in ancient, undoubtedly beautiful caverns
                   wet in the ever so slow movements
                                      of his latest book was penned in
somewhere near Kingston on Thames
                   where I also lived sometimes
                                      fifteen years ago.


In English twice translated, more,
from initial thought, completed
to conversations with his wife;
the resultant verse on paper
was inevitably half opaque
but Osip shines, he shines.