lowering the tone

After writing the not nice post yesterday about offensive poetry, it was time to choose some poems to take along to read at the open mike at the bookshop.

I’ve written before about points to consider when choosing poems to read in public, but as everyone in the neighbourhood is still talking about the complaints received about “rude and offensive naughty poetry and song”, I felt I should try and find something to suit the mood.
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not nice

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post inspired by the words “poems are hard”, which appeared on a local pub chalkboard. It’s not just the poems themselves that are hard, though: it’s even hard to get people to agree on what poetry is.

Some people think that poetry should deal with the big issues of Life, Love and Death, others that it should be all kittens and flowers, sweetness and light; some think it should make us look at familiar things and occurrences as if they were new; others that it should make the personal universal; some think it should have structure and be carefully crafted, others that it should rhyme, others that it should be written “from the heart” and therefore anything goes.
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summer

Summer open-air festival It’s that time of year: we’ve had the solstice and we’ve had Midsummer; at Glastonbury the festival continues until Sunday; there are concerts of music and “performance” in the nearby city and, in the town, four generations of women have silk flowers threaded through their hair…
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pussyfooting

white cat
Over the years, I’ve given a lot of feedback on a lot of manuscripts, both poetry and prose. I’ve also been grateful to receive commentary on my own writing.

It’s never very nice to be told that your work has failed, that your scansion is all to pot and that your grammar and spelling need major revisions. But how are we to improve if no one points out the weaknesses in our work that we are too blind to see for ourselves?
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a choice of viewing

The marvels of technology allow us to watch TV even if we don’t actually have a television set, and to watch programmes at times totally unrelated to when they are actually broadcast. I found this film on offer recently:

"The Thing from Another World" listing on iPlayer
What really caught my attention was how close I had come to missing it after all these years:
First shown  1951: available  till Tuesday
I wonder if they really did keep their word and remove it on Tuesday or whether, like David Bowie, they decided they “might be able to stretch it till Wednesday”:
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