Sunday, 31 May 2009
New poem on front / Sunday night is / Oxford
I have put the poem I wrote at Arvon up at the front and am still thinking about the male / female figure at the end. I am tempted to turn it into a man for the sheer sake of it. Because it isn't of course - no poem is - a report on something that "happened" like that, but a scene that seems to open some element of understanding, through a combination of, rhythmic, melodic, lexical and narrative actions whose purpose is hidden from the writer in the act of writing, except as a certain compulsion.
Very well. It will be 'he' and we shall see how he crawls into the world like that, phantasmal and croaky and half not there.
Meanwhile, The Ronettes:
I have returned sneezing, stuffy headed and with a runny nose. I have had a chance to catch up with the Walcott-Padel affair. I would say that I would love to have read what the writer of Midsummer, The Schooner Flight (decent sized excerpts here) and Omeros (description here) would have said in his series of lectures. Failing that I would have been less interested, but still interested, in what Ruth Padel had to say (she wrote all those columns about poems at The Independent). Failing them both, I would have loved to hear Arvind Mehrotra on any subject he chose to speak about, because he is an outstanding poet, a remarkable, intelligent and wise man, and as honourable as they come. They have lost him too.
As it is, failing all those, I find I intensely don't care who they appoint. One poet speaks, so I hear, of Walcott as "a sleazebag". That will do me, thank you. Let the whole post be set on fire and be pissed on. It is a repulsive affair. Some establishment figure will be appointed - whether male or female is a matter of complete indifference to me. Let whoever it is make that particular career move. I shall look forward to ignoring the whole bag of shite. Forgive the mixed bloody metaphor.