Poetry London Summer 2013 – Issue Launch – I nearly missed it- trying to how to cope with a forest of weeds on our allotment but half the time watching the newts in the pond. That’s what happens to those who move out of London to Brighton, to the so-called ease of retirement by the sea.
Luckily got there in time and today, as well as the launch, there are readings from Ruth Padel, Kathryn Maris, David Wheatley and Richard O’Brien hosted by Foyles in Charing Cross Road.
I have never heard Ruth Padel read her poetry before, but I’ve read some of her work and am looking forward to seeing her and hearing her voice. I guess most aspiring and apprentice poets have read her ’52 Ways Of Looking At A Poem’ but now here she is reading mainly from her book ‘Migration’, but also poems in the latest copy of Poetry London, naturally all compelling, thoughtful and brilliant from start to finish.
Kathryn Maris is a gem, her two latest books are called THE BOOK OF JOBS and GOD LOVES YOU. There is a lovely account about the problems she had writing the poem of the same name on – http://blog.pshares.org/index.php/kathryn-maris-winter-2009-10-contributor/ Her poetry is often very down to earth and has an uncanny nack of making some of the situations she writes about seem very familiar.
How do these people become so clever, are they born or made? Two of the poets were far too young to be as good as they were, David Wheatley – you can hear the music of his poetry with his reading on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5DQMGPe8KTM and Richard O’Brian. Richard has been published in The Salt Book of Younger Poets, Magma, FuseLit and The Shuffle Anthology, and was involved with Poetry Parnassus.
Both these poets were so full of energy and talent enough to make one weep, or give up writing poetry forever! Life just isn’t fair “but no one said it should be ” I can hear my mother’s ghost speaking. Really and in Foyles? Probably, she liked poetry too.
Naturally I buy ‘Poetry London’, Tim Dooley assures the audience of its merits, poems, reviews and articles for both the established poet and the apprentice poet like me!
It may however have been a mistake to smile and make room on the man with a limp and carrying a book on the 38 bus. He seems amiable but asks questions about my current understanding of the world and my certainty of going to heaven. Not satisfied with my smile and vague grunts, he insists on reading to me from carefully highlighted passages from the gospel of St John.
On the train, two young men friends join the train at East Croydon. They are busy discussing mouse-traps in supermarket warehouses where they work. Apparently the rats in one in Elmers End is a place best avoided. I’m reminded of ‘The Pied Piper of Hamlyn’. How it is that someone can turn even rats into something so lyrical?
Another bus and Alan pops down the road to collect me. He has rang an allotment handyman called about cutting the grass with his jumbo strimmer on a regular basis. The newts will be happy they can keep their grassy verge. I can ponder the world again, write about heaven, or rats or even ponds.
Pics from the Poetry London event
Poets don’t miss other recent poetry posts – https://annperrin.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/sylvia-plaths-areil-the-restored-edition-at-the-southbank/
People keen on nature don’t miss –https://annperrin.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/just-one-of-those-days-when-i-talk-to-the-flowers/