Friday, 8 July 2011
Jane's second morning
Now we are looking at tensions, binaries, dual themes, then we think about rhyme and half rhyme and off rhyme and vowel rhyme and consonantal rhyme via Bill Herbert, and each time we write something; then we think of pushing small personal events up against large events. We move fast, more process than product, the product waiting to be developed. I do all Jane's exercises and perhaps something emerges out of one or two.
Then it's lunch and the eight tutorials, after which (about 5pm) I return to my room where I fall asleep for half an hour. I wake to thick rain and proper thunder, the sky rolling. I am aware the News of The World is closing down. Criminality, corruption, scandal. Whether this means the Murdoch empire is shaken to its foundations - I doubt it. Not yet, but who knows about the rest of the Murdoch press? The Arab Spring is succeeded by the Australian Spring.
Outside, the rain crashes down, Judgment Day-style, so even though my waterproof is effective my legs are soaking in the walk across to the main building. There's a pace to these courses. The cautious first step, the pushing out of the boat on the first morning, the slightly awkward tutors' reading the first night, the ripples widening the next day and the welcome to the guest reader who is Poet Pure rather than Tutor Poet. By the third day discoveries have been made and there is genuine exhilaration, though I generally hit a small psychological wall between days three and four. Then the fourth night with its readings from other poets. Tonight I play the piano after that is over. The piano jangles and is slightly out of tune, but then so is my playing.
I am rather astonished that at sixty-two I still have the stamina after three successive festival-conferences and week in Budapest running around doing interviews and getting robbed, having had no more than three or so full days at home in a month. But I do - when 'on stage'. Off stage there are waves of exhaustion. But then I have been almst continually on stage for a month.
Time falls away. There is a great deal to do waiting at home. Each new poem is a Rest on the Flight, but that is how it has always been.