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Poetry Night - The Ex-Communicator

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October 10th, 2008


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01:17 pm - Poetry Night
The poetry night went well. It was a small venue, but it was packed. I was on twice, the first time performing Larkin, and the second time reading my own poems. Quite a few friends came, including happytune and my sister from Chesterfield.

Of my own poems I did Lunt Fort and Lorem Ipsum. Both went down very well I thought.

Of Larkin I did Arundel Tomb and Far Out. I introduced the latter saying 'This is a short poem about Outer Space, a subject which is very dear to me'

Far Out

Beyond the dark cartoons
Are darker spaces where
Small cloudy nests of stars
Seem to float on air.

These have no proper names:
Men out alone at night
Never look up at them
For guidance or delight,

For such evasive dust
Can make so little clear:
Much less is known than not,
More far than near.

(11 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:gfk88
Date:October 10th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
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Hey - glad it went well.

You will know that I am clueless about poetry, but that last verse of Arundel Tomb did make me smile. Larkin was a miserable old git so I can sort of understand where he's coming from sometimes.

[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 10th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
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That poem went over very well. I like that he doesn't think it's true, but almost-true, and that's almost-enough.
[User Picture]
From:redstarrobot
Date:October 10th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
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I rather liked that bit, too.

This, I take it, was not the crowd that thinks Larkin is unsuited to the female voice?
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 10th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
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It was in defiance of that crowd that I read at all, but I think I showed I could make a fair go at it.
[User Picture]
From:redstarrobot
Date:October 10th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
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When the television newscaster said
the second sputnik was up, not empty,
but with a small dog on board,
a half-ton treasury of life orbiting a thousand
miles above the thin television masts and mists
of November,
in clear space, heard, observed,
the faint far heartbeat sending back its message
steady and delicate,
and I was stirred by a deep confusion of feelings,
got up, stood with my back to the wall and my
palms pressed hard against it, my arms held
wide
as if I could spring from the earth ---
not loath myself to go out that very day where
Laika had shown man, felt
my cheeks burning with old Promethean warmth
rekindled --- ready ---
covered my face with my hands, seeing only an
animal
strapped in a doomed capsule, but the future
was still there, cool and whole like the moon,
waiting to be taken, smiling even
as the dog's bones and the elaborate casket of
aluminium
glow white and fuse in the arc of re-entry
and I knew what I felt was history,
its thrilling brilliance came down,
came down,
comes down on us all, bringing pride and pity,
but it is not like that.
--Edwin Morgan
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 10th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
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and I knew what I felt was history,
its thrilling brilliance came down,
came down,
comes down on us all


And it has felt like that this week too



PS That's twice today someone on my f-list has mentioned Edwin Morgan
[User Picture]
From:redstarrobot
Date:October 10th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
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and I was stirred by a deep confusion of feelings,
got up, stood with my back to the wall and my
palms pressed hard against it, my arms held
wide


It feels like that a lot, I find.


I'm surprised it's only twice. Edwin Morgan, being brilliant (and also being a huge space geek), richly deserves all his mentions.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 10th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
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thanks for posting it, it's a lovely poem

'an animal strapped in a doomed capsule' reminds me of what Yeats said about the soul
[User Picture]
From:redstarrobot
Date:October 10th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
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It's actually only the middle third of the poem. (As a whole, it's one of my favorites of his, perhaps my very favorite.)
[User Picture]
From:glitterboy1
Date:October 10th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad that it went well - what an excellent way to mark National Poetry Day!
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 10th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
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I did the reading in my own way, and it went down OK. I was very nervous beforehand. I think perhaps in rehearsal, in an almost empty room, my delivery comes across as too intense, but in a packed room it's more appropriate.

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