Monday, 6 April 2009


1. Earthquake in Italy.

2. Spent the day footnoting the Bloodaxe Lectures so they should be ready to go off .

3. Spent time packing away the books referred to in the above.

4. Earthquake in Italy: death toll rising.

5. The sun shone: outside. Me: inside.

6. Death toll L'Aquila rising.

7. Received the participants' list for the Rotterdam Poetry Festival in June. As follows:

Arjen Duinker
Bei Dao
Brian Turner
Dunya Mikhail
George Szirtes
Gerrit Kouwenaar
Gert Vlok Nel
Henrik Nordbrandt
Jaqcues Roubaud
Kazuko Shiraishi
L.F. Rosen
Luke Davies
Matthew Sweeney
Maura Dooley
Mourid Barghouti
Nachoem M. Wijnberg
Piotr Sommer
Rutger Kopland
Sigitas Parulskis
Tua Forsström
Umberto Fiori
Valzhyna Mort
Vera Pavlova
Yang Lian

Alphabetical. In G.K. Chesterton's 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill' they choose kings alphabetically from the telephone directory. That's how I remember it at any rate.

8. Death toll still rising.

9. Weather forecast says it will probably rain tonight.

10. Obama speaks in Turkey. 'We will not make war against Islam'. Applause.

11. How silent it is in W. on a Monday evening. The moon was full or close to full last night. Tonight it is dark. Perhaps there is no moon.

12. Played a little with cat (Lily). Lily is fond of a certain chocolate wrapper that crackles and has remaining traces of alcohol from the cherry liqueur. She coils, uncoils, scampers, flops over and stares. Mild intoxication?

13. Footnotes. Ibid. Op cit. See previous. Can't remember where I got this quotation from. Damn.

14. L'Aquila = the eagle. Aquiline. Faint memory of Akela at cub scouts. Dib dib dib.

15. Oy, oy, oy.

16. It's from Tom Paulin. Early book. 'The Strange Museum'

17. But that other? It is Brendan Kennelly. Book in university library?

18. My heart aches and a drowsy numbness, etc.

19. These are just the foothills of my native footnotes wild.

20. Twenty is enough for anyone. It's my top twenty.

(21. The death toll rises. The children. The students. Once in Budapest, was it 1955? or early 1956? the earthquake shook a bus off the bridge. The dead in the Danube.)


Poet in Residence said...

I often think of the story of the bridge that collapsed and several people (was it a Thornton Wilder novel?) perished and then somebody was confronted with the problem of who chooses who will be on the bridge when it collapses and why.

It felt strange because the day before the Italian quake I went to
Handel's 'Seven Last Words' which finishes off with some earthquake music - Il Tremoro.
The next morning when I heard of the quake, probably because the Handel music was still in my head, I wondered if the Pope, presumably awakened by the rumble, had taken it on board as some kind of divine message - it being Easter Week (I'm more of a Stonhenge-er; a Preseli Hills bluestone type myself), or if he'd simply seen it as a tectonic plate happening.

P Nolan said...

Saw Mort at Poetry Now recently. Great reader of her work and user of 'body politic' imagery.

Michelle said...

Yay for Rotterdam in June.

Cherry liqueur chocolates have much the same effect on me.