Wednesday, 2 September 2009

So much to do...

And now I'm almost quoting myself in post headings...that will never do. Anyway...I have got a lot to do so on with it!

Firstly I need to tell you about a new page I've just set up where you can find information about the poetry events that I am organising/have organised/will organise (like the one for National Poetry Day this year). The page is called Brilliant Poetry and it's here. I named it with this October's event (and McMillan and Vettese) in mind and it was only afterwards that I realised it might look like I am saying my poetry is brilliant too (because I have also included info about last year's Forest/Edinburgh event on the page and I was part of that). Oh I look like a raging egotist. Never mind. I've been called worse things.

Secondly I need to get on with that task set by Titus (the one that says "Collect the book that you have most handy, turn to page 161, find the 5th complete sentence, and cite the sentence on your blog."). Here's the book I picked up:

"Twentieth-Century Scottish Poetry" - edited by Douglas Dunn. To be honest there were other books closer but as they were thinner poetry books they didn't go up to page 161 and so were no use in this instance. I had this book nearby because it has three poems by Raymond Vettese (one of my featured poets for the "National Poetry Day - Plus One" event) and I needed to make sure I got the anthology details right for a press release. There are plenty of poets I'm a fan of in the book too (Don Paterson, Jackie Kay, Tom Leonard, Liz Lochhead, Edwin Muir) plus all the well-known Angus women poets of the early part of the century (Violet Jacob, Marion Angus, Helen.B.Cruickshank) plus lots of poets that I know many of you are big fans of (Norman MacCaig, Ivor Cutler, Edwin Morgan, George MacKay Brown, Mick Imlah). There's all sorts. But page 161...that's W.S.Graham (1918-86) and the end of a poem called 'The Children of Greenock'. The fifth complete sentence is:

" It saw the neighbour
Fear them housed in her walls of blood."

So now you know (and I never pass on tasks to lists of other people, sorry, I always just say the same...if you feel like doing this, be my guest). Maybe some of you are experts on W.S.Graham and can offer words of wisdom (always welcome!). Maybe one of you can find the whole poem on-line (I can't see it right now). If anyone is desperate for the whole poem I might type it up at a later date.

And now I must go and finish all the other things I have to do! Well after I've read this article about language by Johann Hari in the Independent newspaper today.


apprentice said...

And brilliant you are - like a star

Rachel Fox said...

What can a person reply to that?
Speechless. Typeless. (Shameless?)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Apprentice has a very appropriate rhyme about you Rachel!!
I shall try that 5th sentence thing - it is always interesting.
Wish I was near enough to participate in your events.

Rachel Fox said...

I wish you were too Weaver! I'll have to bring them all on a Yorkshire tour!

Titus said...

Brilliant Poetry just the very dab, I think. I love the whole impresario vibe!

That's probably the most intriguing 5th line so far. Now I have to go and find the whole poem.

Thanks for participating, from a direct asker (little manners, down South!).

Rachel Fox said...

Oh it's not manners. It's more like disregard for rules...Plus I hate to choose some people and not others!

Rachel Fenton said...

You star...I have been searching for poetry mentioning Greenock for yonks!

Rachel Fox said...

Suddenly it feels like a limerick 'two rachels were talking of greenock...'.

Eryl Shields said...

That is an intriguing line, I must find the whole poem too.

Got your postcards today, they are lovely, and thank you, thank you for the freebie. Oxfam will never see it!
I'm going to reorganise my shelves so I have one for books by people I, kind of, know.

Rachel Fox said...

Let me know if you can't track it down (the poem). I have been reading a lot of the other poets in the anthology. Enjoying some MacCaig for example (one called 'Summer Farm').

Glad you got your post OK too. A 'notification of payment received' email in the inbox is always a lovely sight!


Dominic Rivron said...

I lent my copy to someone and never retrieved it.

I ought to read more WSG. When I read one of his poems I am usually struck by how amazing he was.

Just picked up a book:

The horse cantered over to him.

Rachel Fox said...

I've always liked the word 'canter'...come to think of it I like 'trot' and 'gallop' too. I think I just like all words.

deemikay said...

I like WS. :)

One of the first posts at my blog was about him... (I've just checked, it was the 4th. Back when I wrote to absolutely no readers.)

There's a great little thing I copied from him there:

"The most difficult thing for me to remember is that a poem is made of words and not of the expanding heart, the overflowing soul, or the sensitive observer. A poem is made of words. It is words in a certain order, good or bad by the significance of its addition to life and not to be judged by any other value put upon it by imagining how or why or by what kind of man it was made."


I had similar problems with being surrounded by small books. And they're not cheaper than big books y'know...

Rachel Fox said...

I read that quote somewhere the other day. Yes...a poem is made of words...but what are words made of? History, thought, sound, effect, connection, letters, breath...could go on for ever!

deemikay said...

But show me a poem made of no words and, well, then you've not got a poem. Without words and without langauge, what have you got to think with? So best, I'd say, just to take a poem as being a thing made of words.

(I suppose a "poem" made up of non-verbal communication (in a linguistic sense) would be most like a dance.)

Rachel Fox said...

No, what I'm saying is a poem may be 'a thing made of words' but that words themselves are made of so much that that statement is not as simple as it might seem or like to be.

But I think we will be going in circles soon enough. Chickens, eggs.