Saturday, 12 May 2012

These be the verses #2

Staying in the mystical realm of the poetic imagination, or rather staying on the theme of poetry and my recent amblings in this district, there are a few things I forgot to say in my last post...

1) We are doing a bit of a recruitment drive for my poetry group at CoolTan Arts, so if anyone is interested in joining (girls only, I'm afraid) or knows of anyone who might be (friends working in community arts: are you working with any groups which have some creative ladies who might fancy joining our very supportive and welcoming group?) please get in touch! We are working towards a publication, and all levels are welcome. 

2) I also need to share, my week was made last week when one of my lovely colleagues at CoolTan emailed me in the FORM OF A HAIKU! Completely unprompted. Just a beautifully concise message in ancient Japanese poetic form. More people should do things like this. It makes the world a better place.

Send me a haiku
It breaks the monotony
Of shit life admin

3) I have just read Jeanette Winterson's exquisite autobiography: Why be happy when you can be normal?, and had to go out straight away and buy my own copy, so I can have it and lend it to people. I read this passage about our need for poetry, and what I see as the power of the arts, and wanted to share it:

I was confused about sex and sexuality, and upset about the straightforward practical problems of where to live, what to eat, and how to do my A levels. 

I had no one to help me, but the T.S. Eliot [book] helped me.

So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn't be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language - and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers - a language powerful enough to say it how it is.

It isn't a hiding place. It is a finding place. 



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