A barnstorming new year
Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com
but not necessarily this silent knight.
So, a few weeks ago in class, somebody mentioned that Sylvia Plath had said that she had found it impossible to put a toothbrush in a poem. Now, while she didn't actually say that, what she did was interesting. To whit:
Now that I have attained, shall I say, a respectable age, and have had experiences, I feel much more interested in prose, in the novel. I feel that in a novel, for example, you can get in toothbrushes and all the paraphernalia that one finds in dally life, and I find this more difficult in poetry. Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline, you've got to go so far, so fast, in such a small space that you've just got to turn away all the peripherals. And I miss them! I'm a woman, I like my little Lares and Penates, I like trivia, and I find that in a novel I can get more of life, perhaps not such intense life, but certainly more of life, and so I've become very interested in novel writing as a result.
Labels: poetry toothbrush sylvia plath
Labels: commercial uberpup bikes 2xanadu
As quoted in this month's Sight & Sound, from The Shop Around The Corner, when Klara describes Kralik, without knowing that he's her pen-pal:
I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find: instead of a heart, a handbag; instead of a soul, a suitcase; and instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... that doesn't work.
As nominated by various luminaries (and me), over at Creativepool. Find out what I chose.
I have a few poems in issue 13 of The Delinquent.
Labels: poetry the delinquent albionics
Girl. Boy. Stepmum. Wicked. Dame. Drag. Behind you! Really! Yes! Oooh!
Just in case you hadn't already seen it, 26 members can get 20% off their entries into this year's Writing for Design category in the D&AD Awards. It won't last for ever: you have until the 26th (naturally) of December to get your entries in.
So Ian at the Faber Academy has set a challenge, based on this rather fabulous poem at the Futility Closet. While I respond to that (and it could be a while), here something that comes close to the form:
The fires of ambition
All my awards and baubles
and certificates and degrees
and emoluments and festschrifts
and gifts and honorariums
and IQ points and jeroboams
and kudos and laurels
and merit badges and nous
and ovations and premiums
and qualifications and renown
and scholarships and tributes
and ubiquity and vim
and wit and XP complexes
and yapness and zelotypia
couldn’t stop her leaving.
So I built a pyre
and had a bonfire
of my ambitions;
and under the flaming confetti
I thought, what use is
praise and pride
without love to lessen
and soften the fall?
She had a heart-shaped face, just about holding within its boundaries a full pout with a hint of being always open; always on, always available. Blue, almond eyes. Simple, straight hair, parted on the exact point of centred, with flecks of sun in the brown, even in this winter murk. Skin that glowed honey. Her teeth were gleaming, a beacon that lit up everything else. An index finger, straight and elegant, was waved in his face. It was firm; everything else about her was playful.
Labels: reportage lantana
'Tis the season to stand around grumbling about the Royal Mail. I offer this in the hope in soothes your brow.
What better place to think about time and age,
choking on the clouds of other people’s rage?
Sending parcels of love with maximum fuss;
at least they escape from here, unlike us.
David Thomson in The Guardian today poses an interesting question. Apropos of a discussion about how, excepting Alfie and Get Carter, Michael Caine only ever plays Michael Caine (which is, I think, wrong by the way), Thomson says:
Sincerity is vanishing, and I'm not sure that narrative can survive without it.
Labels: sincerity narrative
Think you are a perfectionist when it comes to grammar? Reluctant to let any spelling mistake go? I bet you're not like SG Warburg, founder of the eponymous bank. As Niall Ferguson relates in the latest edition of the 'The Oxford Historian', the magazine of the history faculty at the university:
A perfectionist across the spectrum of banking activity, Warburg was unforgiving of lapses not just in ethical standards but even in grammar and syntax. A typical telephone call was one between Warburg and Stormonth Darling, one of his many Oxford proteges, when the latter was at his home:
Warburg: 'I do hope I'm not disturbing you.'
Darling: 'Oh no, Mr Warburg, not at all.'
Warburg: 'Well, it's about your note dated 22 December on the American stock market. Do you have a copy in front of you?'
Darling: 'Er, no, I'm afraid my copy is in the office.'
Warburg: 'Well, let me remind you of your second sentence in the fifth paragraph... I think there should be a comma after the word "development".'
This was on Christmas Day.