Friday, December 1, 2006

Those of you who read yesterday’s comments will know the struggles of Miss Sally and her hangover. I think she’s an absolute starlet for going to work at all, it’s more than I would have done!

I didn’t have time to post last night as I was at a Charlatans gig at the Guildhall with the ever-delicious Glenn. It was a nostalgic evening in the main, as Glenn and I used to listen to the Charlatans in our formative years together (and the Stone Roses, Oasis, Blur, Pulp and any band we could find from circa 1967). I had forgotten how entirely beautiful Tim Burgess of the Charlatans is (that boy defines the act of a perfect smile). Glenn has seen them loads of times whereas this was my first evening in their company.

The Guildhall is a very intimate venue for such a huge band to play in and by sheer fluke we managed to get to the front, with the lovely Tim only a few feet away. I think he may have had a bit of a crush on me, actually, because he spent most of the time at our end of the stage, directing every song to me (ok the first half of the sentence is true, the second half is embellished). Fabulous night.

The Chief dragged me into work at 7.45 this morning, which scuppered my ideas of sleeping in and catching up on the approximately 80 hours sleep I’ve lost over the past couple of weeks. I plan to go home early though, so it all balances out. He hasn’t mentioned the Sherlock Holmes idea yet though, so I think he’s definitely considering it and I’m sure there was a pipe and a violin hidden in his rucksack this morning.

I’ve just discovered a really interesting article in the Books Blog of the Guardian this morning on memorising poetry. There’s only one poem that I know off by heart and that’s ‘This Be The Verse’ by Phillip Larkin, but I used to know The Tiger by William Blake, The Windhover by Hopkins and ‘Crossing the Bar’ by Tennyson. Where do the learnt poems go when you forget them?

I agree with Nick Seddon that there is something about learning poetry by heart that utterly changes your understanding of a poem, that frees it from its constraints and sets it free. He comments:

“But once you have them by heart - which is of course by head - the poems stay with you, resonating in what Seamus Heaney calls the echo chambers of the mind. They unfurl and display their self-delighting inventiveness: time and again, walking down the street, I have little insights and epiphanies.”

So, I have decided to learn three poems by the end of the weekend. Any suggestions? Today's poem du jour is by the fearless, fickle and funny John Hegley, who I would heartily recommend you never miss an opportunity to see perform live.

Love Cuts

Love cuts

love juts out
and you walk right into it.

Love cuts
love comes and goes
love's a rose
first you smell the flower
then the thorn gets up your nostril
love gives you the chocolates
and then love gives you the chop
it doesn't like to linger.

Love cuts
love shuts up shop
and shuts it on your finger

Love cuts
love's very sharp
a harpoon through an easy chair
a comb of honey in your hair
just wait until the bees come home
and find you just relaxing there.

Love cuts, love guts the fish
of what you wish for
and leaves it in the airing cupboard.

Love cuts
love huts fall down
as all the walls get falser.

Love cuts
Love struts around on stilts of balsa
wood love cuts
love gives you a sweeping bow
then ploughs a furrow deep above your eyebrow
love cuts
love curtseys
then nuts you
where it really hurtseys.

Love cuts
love butts in
When you're in full flow
and you're so glad
your heart's aglow.

But like it comes
it likes to go
without so much as a cheerio
and you miss it so
until next time.

Today’s Beautiful Things

1. Tim Burgess

2. Tim from the Charlatans

3. The lead singer of the Charlatans, Mr Burgess


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3 comments:

Mark Wright said...

Poem-learning suggestion - anything by Rumi or Hafiz. try this little gem of a quatrain by Rumi, for example, translated by Andrew Harvey, and the only poem I know by heart:

"Light the incense.
You have to burn to be fragrant.
To scent the whole house,
You have to burn to the ground."

Or just pootle about in www.poetrychaikhana.com and see what you find...

M x

Mark Wright said...

Oops - that should be: http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/

Lisa...yes, Clark said...

OHMYSTARS! I'm every kind of jealous that you were breathing same air as Tim Burgess. I heart Tim too. I wasn't just a boyband girl y'know...I own every Charlatans and Stone Roses album ever released! I will want a proper rundown of the even tomorrow 'k?!

L x