Monday, 24 January 2011
From a hotel room...
By Euston Square as it happens. The room is small and inevitably makes me think of the Sisyphus experience in the poem below. Yesterday at the Eliot readings it seemed as if I knew half the capacity audience of the RFH. Familiar faces and greetings everywhere. And poetry is often regarded as the lonely art, "exercised in the still night".
And that is of course true. I doubt whether a fully socialised being can be a poet. There is something utterly solitary at the heart of poetry, which may be why I cannot quite come to terms with the matey tone that appears in some poets some of the time. The sound of singing in the locked room of the head is more to the point. The channels of communication are underground or a kind of sonics. However open the verse is, however apparently convivial, at core it is alone in the valley of its saying. Yes, even the socially urbane Byron, perhaps especially him.
I must say that I was particularly impressed by Sam Willetts last night. For precisely the reasons above.