OK, well here I am reciting 'Inversnaid' by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I've never heard anyone else recite or read it so I hope I haven't made any obvious mistakes. We could have edited out the ridiculously long pause I inserted between verses 2 and 3 (mind went blank...) but that would have been dishonest (get behind me, Simon Cowell, in fact go away altogether...). Anyway don't worry, I do get to the end of the poem eventually! I would have to say that I like 'Inversnaid' a lot more now than when I started learning it...which is interesting (isn't it?). I particularly like the 'rounds and rounds' bit...I almost started rotating my head when reciting as if I could see the pool. I know some of you poem-learners are having technical hiccups but if you can manage to get me a link or a small mp3 file my tech support can put yours online too. And don't be shy or worry about your funny voice. We all have funny voices! I would love to hear them all. (First completed assignment can be heard via Titus' blog. That's one damn clever dog! Brilliant. Other related posts at Sorlil's Poetry in Progress and Dave King's Pics and Poems - see blog list)
What else can you listen to whilst you're here? Well, lots of you may have heard this already but here's a radio programme about James Macpherson and the Ossian poems that I listened to whilst ironing recently. I must be getting more informed about Scottish literature (finally!) because a lot of the information wasn't new to me but I still enjoyed it and those of you further afield who are potty about Scotland (mentioning no names...Hope) will enjoy it even more. It is presented by Scottish poet Kenneth Steven and BBC programmes are usually on the player for a week from day of broadcast (it was first heard on Sunday 3rd May).
Also, seeing as she's been so in the news, I wondered if youtube had any good readings/recitals of Carol Ann Duffy poems (answer = not really). Mostly I came across half-arsed stuff by young people who could perhaps be doing something better with their time (not that I did anything full-arsed when I was young obviously...). This wealth of Duffy-related do-do is largely due to the fact that her poetry features on lots of school exam syllabuses in the UK (syllabi - not likely) so there are lots of clips by former literature students complaining about her poems as well as lots of current students reading them in...well...not a manner you would necessarily want to display on an international stage (one was in the shower fully clothed...I think). Such are the joys of the successful writer – to be so honoured! Some schools obviously get their students to reinterpret the poems they're studying using video and some of these clips are a bit more interesting (well, a bit...and they are young...). Here are a couple of school groups (one here, another here) getting to grips with the poem that got Duffy in the news last year 'Education for leisure' (and the full, properly laid-out text of the poem can be read via that link too). We didn't have video cameras or video phones (or even mobile phones) when I was at school...how on earth did we ever learn anything? Or now I think of it...did we ever learn anything? I can hardly remember now...it's all like a strange dream (and I've been having a lot of those recently too...is it the Hopkins do you think...or the fact that we're now in series 4 of the Sopranos?). Going to post this now and then go to bed. What on earth will I dream of tonight?
San Juan and Masca
1 hour ago