WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.
What is ANNOYING me this week?
The London Underground.
What is DELIGHTING me this week?
Lunch at the Ritz.
Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin.
SOME OF MY DOINGS:
I went down the London for the weekend, a quick trip to grab a show and have lunch at the Ritz, as you do! The show was We Will Rock You which was absolutely excellent with a great cast, fantastic staging and of course a story that was extracted like a found poem from the songs of Queen. The Ritz was also something really special, something everyone should do at least once in their lives. The dining room and the waiters are a gentle piece of theatre which sees you as the diner centre stage, as the performance makes you feel like you are in the leading roles. For some this will appear to be something completely natural, going to The Ritz for lunch is a regular thing to do, but for jobbing writers such as myself it was an extraordinary experience. Not to be missed if you get the chance.
I came home to find that this blog had been nominated not once but twice for The Liebster Award, I was both flattered and honored that Sarah James and Gary Longden had both nominated this blog for the award.
What is more I think this a great idea, I am regular follower of blogs, some of which I mention in this blog, indeed if you look in the panel of friends blogs to the right – you will see some of the blogs I follow.
Counter-nominating a proposer is not in the spirit of the Award; however I would recommend both Sarah’s blog at http://www.sarah-james.co.uk/?page_id=7 and Gary’s blog at http://garylongden.wordpress.com/ as I follow them regularly.
Now I should explain what it all means…
Leister is a German word meaning dearest, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.
If you receive the award, you should:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!’
My five nominations of blogs I follow on a regular basis apart from the two from my nominators, and these are in no particular order.
1. Polyolbion at http://polyolbion.blogspot.com/ is the blog of Leicester Poet and Wild life journalist Matt Merritt – Matt’s blog takes its name from Michael Drayton’s great work, I have to admit that is Matt had not already used it I would have called this blog Polyolbion. Matt covers everything from book and reading reviews – to future reading dates. Matt always gives a considered insight to his subjects and I value his opinions. I have bought several poetry books following his reviews and have never been disappointed.
2. O’bheal at http://www.obheal.ie/blog/ is the blog of my good friends in Cork, Paul Casey runs poetry events in Cork, with a weekly reading at The Long Valley in Cork City. The O’Bheal blog provides its followers with information on upcoming events as well as being the custodian of the legacy of the readings that have taken place in the past. All readings are recorded and held here and are available for you to listen too or if you were there listen to again. Including one of my own from my trip as the guests of O’Bheal in the summer.
3. The Secret Writer at http://secretwriter1.blogspot.com/ – I know who the Secret Writer is as I am part of her writing circle, but if you read her blog you will see why for the moment she wants to remain a Secret. This blog has a chatty engaging style, where she discusses her writing life, editing the novel “Her”, to a personal poetry project based around shoes. She also has an April Fools list of 40 things she wants to achieve in the year between her Birthdays.
4. Fox Tales – Worcestershire based poet and writer, Myfanwy Fox, was one of the first followers of my blog to leave a comment, I quickly discovered her wonderful blog Fox Tales at http://myfanwyfox.wordpress.com/ . I always find Myfanwy’s take on things as amusing, most definitely thought provoking and layered with a sense of realities that are often missed because we never look beyond the façade, Myfanwy does dig deeper and often sees that there are a mountain of un-answered questions to be discussed.
5. Here Come the Lobsters – Garrie Fletcher’s blog – http://herecomethelobsters.wordpress.com/
Garrie’s blog includes some great book reviews, comments on the news, ideas on writing and most recently his correspondence with a corporate internet provider. Like Myfanwy, Garrie can often point out the things that hide behind the façade.
Last week I attended the first of what I am sure is going to be many Folk and Poetry evenings in Ashby. The Goblin Folk and Poetry club was well attended with standing room only in the Giggling Goblin Café. Our host Brian Langtry, who has a large amount of music and theatre work to his credit, started the evening with a few songs. There was definitely a theme of working songs and poems, the former mining communities of the Midlands were giving a voice, particularly resonant was the song about the Dirty Thirty -30 Leicestershire miners who did strike when their fellow workers went against the strike action and worked the pits in the turbulent times of the 1980’s. – I think I will take along some of the poems that are to be installed on the next phase of the Polesworth Poets Trail. This event will also be a great night for reading poems developed out of the GRAFT project. – The next one is on 13th December at the Giggling Goblin Café in Ashby.
My adventures into STEAMPUNK continue – We now have a venue and a date for the UK launch of Rach Gee’s book Mars on the Rise – we have managed to secure the Century Theatre at Snibston Discovery Centre for the evening of Saturday May 12th 2012. The Century Theatre has a really interesting Industrial History and is the ideal location for launching a Steampunk novel.
You can secure your invitation to the event by sponsoring the launch for a small upfront fee of £20, which will give you an invitation for you and a guest to the evening. Plus as a sponsor you will get a signed copy of the book plus a package of materials which includes photographs and steam punk / Victorian themed goodies.
We are in the process of confirming two bands to perform on the night and also some other attractions that will enable you to immerse yourself in to the world of Victorian Science Fiction.
If you want to be a sponsor then please contact either Rach at email@example.com or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org; there will only be 100 sponsors – so it is a chance to become part of a unique group who attend this very unique event.
For more information on the Century Theatre’s interesting history you can find out more here.
MY Lost Poet for this week is ADELAIDE CRAPSEY (1878 – 1914)
I have always been interested in pushing all forms of poetry into new directions and my experimentations have seen some success as well as a lot of failures, but as the scientists amongst you will know, it is what you learn from the failure of the experiment that gives you the knowledge to pursue your success.
Adelaide Crapsey was also not bound by the conventions of poetic form and went ahead in her short life to develop two distinct forms that have kept the interest in her work alive. She is though still only known amongst some of the academic circles.
Adelaide was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1878 to the Episcopal priest Algernon Sidney Crapsey and his wife Adelaide T Crapsey, Her father, himself not adverse to controversy following charges of heresy that saw him stripped of his Ministry.
Adelaide grew up in Rochester, New York attending public School in Rochester and later Kemper Hall a Episcopal preparatory school for girls in Wisconsin. She then entered Vassar College from which she graduated in 1901.
Her career as a teacher was delayed following the death of her sister Emily, but in 1902 she took up a post at Kemper Hall which she held until 1904, when she moved to spend a year at School of Classical Studies at the American Academy in Rome and then taught for two years at Smith College in Massachusetts.
She herself was in poor health and in 1911 was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which she kept from her family and continued with her teaching, until she collapsed in 1913. Her final year was spent at a private cure cottage in Saranac Lake, she returned to Rochester in August 1914, finally succumbing to her illness in October.
In the years prior to her death she wrote much of the poetry for which she is best remembered, Her collection Verses was published by Claude Bragdon in 1915 with later revised editions published up until 1934.
She created a variation of the 5 five line, 22 syllable form known as the Cinquian, influenced from Japanese forms such as Haiku and Tanka. Her version of the Cinquian uses Iambic metre and 2 syllables in the first and last lines with the middle three lines having 4, 6 and 8 syllables, see her poem Triad below.
She also developed an epigram in the form of an iambic rhyming couplet held with in the title which is an integral part of the poem, as shown in the example below On Seeing Weather-beaten Trees.
She was further remembered by the poet Carl Sandburg in his poem Adelaide Crapsey which was to keep the interest in her cinquain forms from become obscure and forgotten.
An example of THE AMERICAN CINQUIAN developed by Adelaide Crapsey in her poem Triad.
Three silent things:
The falling snow … the hour
Before the dawn … the mouth of one
An example of Adelaide Crapsey’s Epigram Form.
On Seeing Weather-beaten Trees
IS it as plainly in our living shown,
By slant and twist, which way the wind hath blown?
Some further links.
Adeliade Crapsey’s verses on the web:
Karen Alkalay-Gut’s biography of Adelaide Crapsey.
SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS
22nd Nov – Poetry Bites – Birmingham. Guest Joseph Horgan
25th Nov – Spoken Worlds – Burton – Guest Ash Dickinson
6th Dec – Nightblue Fruit – Taylor John’s House – Coventry.
13th Dec – Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Giggling Goblin Café – Ashby de-la- Zouch.