Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Back from London - Poetry Society, etc

Just brief for now:

1. The trustees of the Poetry Society together with the press (The Guardian, The Independent, and that unspeakable article in The Times) have done their best to crucify Judith Palmer. I presume this is what Colman Getty are getting their £3,000 for and what the Poetry Society is losing it for. Well done, trustees. So you can do character assassination too. See The Independent comments - particularly strong one from Katy Evans-Bush. But this is not, by any means, the end of the matter. Watch this and other spaces.

2. The faces of the young victims of the Norway killings are heart-wrenching. Figures are just figures, but then you see the faces, each no longer a life.

3. The Prom was the Liszt / Bartók / Kodály - it will be broadcast on BBC4 on Friday. Bartók's Piano Concerto No.1 was terrific and beautifully played by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. Reviewed in The Guardian. Do listen even if you have to put up with my face for a minute here or there. Or you can just listen here. The BBC crew were charm itself and Steve Martland a joy to work with. If I were ever asked to do this again I would immediately say yes, albeit the chance to say anything substantial in two minutes or so (three sets of two minutes) is limited. As for the result, I don't know till I see it, and I doubt there will be a similar occasion in the future.

4. Back to C's parental house about a quarter to midnight. The tired bones of a house now slowly losing its flesh and vital organs. It will need to be sold to pay for nursing care. Built by C's grandfather, lived in by her parents. Art is a house that tries to be haunted, said Emily Dickinson. What happens to all the lives that have passed through all those walls? I think of the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century walls of this small house. Our first feeling was of a sense of kindness hanging about it. And so we clothed its bones with our flesh and skin and filled it with our vital organs. Still in working order.

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