WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.
What is ANNOYING me this week?
What is DELIGHTING me this week?
My Birthday BBQ
Clogs – Stick Music.
SOME OF MY DOINGS.
As many of you know my email account was abducted by aliens or persons unknown, who appear to be inBarcelona. Now why they picked on me, I really don’t know, it is not as if I am a Manchester United fan.
I am, however a great admirer of the Gaudi and Miro and was thoroughly impressed with the Neu Camp stadium. I love the poem “Song in the Dead Calm” by Carles Riba and often seek out other Catalan poets. So why me, is beyond me. I was however heartened that so many of my friends and family were concerned and contacted me, mostly not fooled by the email sent out requesting funds be transferred.
When the initial concern had blown over, there was a mass of on-line critiquing on Facebook. The bogus email was taken apart to reveal the badly constructed piece of prose that had been sent out by these aliens or unknown persons. Most pointed out the lazy use of language and spelling. Some even went as far as analysing the sentence structure and pointed out that it was most likely written in another language and then translated into English using an on-line translator or a babel fish inserted into the ear of the perpetrator.
I would like to thank everyone who took time and expressed concern about this event and I am now highly amused by all the references to me being lost inSpainin emails, posts and in person, all at my expense, but gladly not to the expense of my friends and family.
Needless the say I have moved email address leaving the ruins of the old address to be found by some Cyber Archaeologist in the far distant future, what a fascinating episode of Time Team that will make!
Poets Trail update.
This week has seen more work on the designs for the Poets Trail installations and the sourcing of some of the materials on which to present them; with a piece of slate and four pieces of leather now found and donated to be crafted into the final form for the trail.
I will keep you posted as things progress.
The Fantastic Nuneaton Summer Poetry Day on the 2nd July is moving on a pace with Mark Niel (http://www.akickinthearts.co.uk/),the bard of Milton Keynes coming on board to bring his unique brand of poetry to the market place. Mark will be running the first ever outdoor 60 second poetry slam along with other events throughout the day, including being the Minstrel Poet who will make up rhymes to any given word, for a fee of course to go to the Mary Ann Evans Hospice.
Rae Gee is bringing a prose element to the event providing more spoken word opportunities. Rae has thrown open a challenge to me as the Festival poet, she will wear her Victorian Steam Punk outfit if I will wear my famous red jacket – The challenge has been accepted.
Art Alert, (http://www.artalertnuneaton.com/who-we-are.htm),a group of local, talented artists, whose philosophy is not unlike my own, that is, to create artistic and exhibition opportunities for themselves, they will be decorating the benches around the town centre in a poetic theme with lines from famous poems with associations with North Warwickshire. The full poems will be found hanging like fruit from the Poetree.
Waterstones will be selling a range of poetry and hosting some spoken word events. (http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/)
There will be several Poetry Stops around the town where poetic voices will be raised among the shoppers, market traders, booksellers and librarians.
I will be blogging and tweeting as part of my role as Festival Poet, writing poetry from the sense of place, capturing words from the people in the market place, taking lines from tweets, I will be setting up the blog and the twitter accounts over the next week and will start promoting them here.
There will be two bookmakers, that is the book binding kind rather than the gambling sort. Julie De Bastion (http://www.julie.debastion.com/) and Helen Wilson who will offer people opportunities to explore this craft of making their own books. Julie will also be story telling around myths and legends.
There will be poetry kites for the children to make which will all add to colour and theatre of the day.
Colin King will be Story Telling in the story telling café (http://www.storytimes.co.uk/) and Wow Impro will be performing comedy, improvisation and spoken word out on the street. (http://www.wowimpro.co.uk/)
Several poets have already signed up to read but there is still space for more poets to come and share their work and raise their profile on the Midlands poetry scene.
Please contact me if you want to read or be involved.
Nuneaton Summer Day of Poetry
Date 2nd July –Place Nuneaton Town Centre 11:00am till 3:00pm and the Crown Pub 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
* Festival Poet – Mal Dewhirst * Minstrel Poet – Mark Niel *
Readings, Slams, Poetry Kites, Story Telling, Bookmaking, Blog and Tweets, Book sales, Open mic.
Raising money for the Mary Ann Evans Hospice.
With the Ledbury Poetry Festival only a month away, with a fantastic programme of events some of which I hope to get too.
It seems appropriate in the run up to the festival that my lost poet this week should be:
William Langland (ca. 1332 – ca. 1386)
I am grateful to Myfanwy Fox who reminded me of Langland as a lost poet whose associations with the Malvern Hills and Ledbury is very much conjecture based upon the settings of his works as very little is known of his life.
Langland it is suggested in the book New light on Piers Plowman, By Allan H Bright published by Oxford University Press in 1928, was born in Ledbury, in fact the book goes as far to identify two strips of land on the borders of Ledbury and Colwell parishes know as Longland and that the house that stood here in the 14th Century was the birthplace of William Langland, hence my link to the forthcoming Poetry Festival.
If Bright’s interpretation is correct then the site today is on the A449 into Ledbury and is now two cottages known as Haysebrook Cottages.
It is also nearby Malvern that Langland has associations and it is Malvern that is a special place for me as it was where the whole of my primary school descended on a day in July 1968 for the annual school trip. A trip to walk the full length of the hills, quite a challenge for primary school children but one that we relished and walked taking in each breath at the magnificent views of the Worcestershire countryside out towards Wales to the west and the Warwickshire countryside to the east.
Malvern is also where my elder brother, Eddie, studied at around the same time. It is where he first got involved seriously in theatre, even though his studies where in electrical engineering. I remember his occasional visits home at weekends. Especially the wonder that was fired up in my mind, when on Sunday our dad would drive him out towards Bromsgrove to get the Midland Red Bus (the 144, It still runs from Birmingham to Worcester) as Eddie headed back to this wonderful place. It was even better if Dad took him back all the way and I got to go along for the ride.
So I see Malvern as a poetic place as did Langland. It is his Piers Plowman or William’s Visions of Piers Plowman to give its full title that gives the hints to Langland’s origins with his descriptions of Malvern and the surrounding area.
Piers Plowman tells of the vision of the humble plowman as he falls asleep in the Malvern Hills and sees a tower set upon a hill and in a deep valley a fortress – these represent heaven and hell. The alliterative allegory poem which is in part theological and part social satire is a quest to find the true Christian life in the time of medieval Catholicism and sees the plowman searching out the three characters: Dowel (do well), Dobet (do better) and Dobest (do best).
The poem attacks the corruption of the nobility and the leading members of the church. It is an expression of the opinions of the poor, providing an insight into their daily lives and is therefore a very important manuscript. Many critics see Piers Plowman, along with Chaucer’s Canterbury tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as the three great works of early English literature.
This was the start of the Piers Plowman Tradition, which saw poets such as Spenser, use the character of Piers as a symbol of the relationship between the commoners and the nobility, satirically reflecting economic, political, social and religious grievances of the commoner with the power bases of the church and the crown.
Langland’s first version was published in 1362 and he continued to work on it throughout the rest of his life, creating several versions (possibly 14), providing scholars much to explore in their interpretations and quest to find the real William Langland.
The version I have is a translation of the “B” Text by Terence Tiller which in turn used the translation of W.W. Skeat.
More information on William Langland can be found at:
Myfanwy Fox’s blog Fox Tales can be found at:
Oh yes I nearly forgot, I also had a birthday!
COMING SOON DOINGS
Readings in June and July.
7th June – Night Blue Fruit – Taylor John’s Coventry.
9th June – Memoirs Poetry – Erdington Library Birmingham.
17th June – Spoken Worlds – Burton upon Trent.
2nd July – Summer Poetry Day – Nuneaton.
5th July – Night Blue Fruit – Taylor John’s Coventry.
15th July – Spoken Worlds – Burton upon Trent.
16th July – Lichfield Festival – Lichfield.
19th July – The Fizz 8 – Polesworth Abbey.
23rd July – Love Parks Festival – Polesworth Abbey Green Park.