Saturday, 26 March 2011

School's Out

Tuesday was my last Poetry School class with John McAuliffe, I can't believe ten weeks have flown by so quickly. This has been my most productive class to date, I've written a poem a week and received excellent feedback from John who's such a generous tutor. His comments have been really constructive and encouraging, his experience as an editor invaluable. I've redrafted four of the poems and got them ready to send off to Poetry London, so we'll see what Colette Bryce makes of them...
and now I feel quite bereft, what will I write about this week? Tuesday's class we looked at poems with a driving theme including one of my favourites, Seamus Heaney's Postscript. Somehow without the deadline of Tuesday's class I seem to have lost my mojo...maybe I just need a little rest and then get back in the saddle...

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Aftermath of Moon Hype

Beautiful but not spectacular.
Maybe I need a new camera. Anyway it gave the boys an excuse to how - oooool.

Lunar Perigee

Tonight's full moon is going to be spectacular, it'll be closer to us on earth than it's been for 18 years. It should provide a chance for us to try out that trick which I wrote about last year.

By chance I found this poem - Facts About The Moon - by Dorianne Laux when I was reading the How A Poem Happens blog this morning. Serendipity, no?!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Saturday Morning Film Review

If you get the chance to see Norwegian Wood - DON'T. Instead, buy a poetry book and a bottle of wine to share with your companion. I wish I had.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

International Women's Day 2011

It's been a while since I wrote about swimming, so for International Women's Day let's celebrate Gertrude Ederle (1905-2003) first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926.
And here's an atmospheric poem with a sea theme by Marion Lomax

Beyond Men
Through the shrunk boards
water strokes itself:
dives at the end of staves.
Her eyes are out to sea:
she's gardening the waves,
weeding out boats before
they can put down roots.

Off the beach, women
bob like seals in their
round red caps - climb out,
and dance with strangers.

Under the pier, where
the sea has slipped back,
the wet sand is coldest.
It sucks her shoulders,
makes her shiver.
Arms, legs, breasts, slip
under: she struggles
out of the strong embrace.
Sleek, salt tongues of weed
lick neck and nipples -
waves return her hair,
a tangle of black lace.

Dancers on the pier
drift home to their beds,
refusing late drinks
or a possessive caress.
Tonight the sea's moans
make women yearn
for something beyond
the love of men.

Marion Lomax 
in Sixty Women Poets 
ed. Linda France, Bloodaxe

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Law Of The Jungle

Disturbing start to the day as we went to see Animal Kingdom last night and it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning. Someone - I think it was my brother - told me the mark of a good film is if you think of it at least three times the next day. By that criterion, Animal Kingdom is right up there. 
I'm a fan of the novels of the Australian writer Tim Winton - Cloudstreet, Breath, Dirt Music to name but three. He is a genius at describing family dynamics and the dark side of Australia and Australian life. So imagine Winton at his darkest, then subdue the lighting, turn that dimmer switch to its lowest setting. As you adjust your vision, you'll begin to make out the shapes in Animal Kingdom...
We went to see the film at the Cornerhouse in Manchester. If it was an American film it would be in mainstream cinemas, who knows, maybe it will get there. But in the meantime, it is worth seeking out. Prepare yourself for some discomfort as you head out on safari.....