Sometimes there is very little poetry in my life... but lately I have been:
- listening to this Guardian interview with king o'the north poet Simon Armitage. It's about 40 minutes long but not uninteresting (shorter video version available too). In the long interview I liked the part where he talked about studying geography instead of literature (I hadn't heard any of that before) and he's also pretty good on not living in a capital city. It was interesting to see what poems people on't street could remember in the voxpop thing at the start too (Larkin wins! Yeh, Larkin... well, in England anyway). Would anyone know any Armitage out on't street now, I wonder? And will they once he's gone and buried and taken that kind of 'endearing delivery thing' he does with him..? Just a question... not meant as a slur (I quite like him... even if his face does look like a cartoon moon... or maybe because of that...).
- reading the first part of Richard Holmes' Coleridge biography “Coleridge - Early Visions” (along with a "Selected Poetry" by STC). I have somehow missed Samuel Taylor Coleridge out of my life completely (see portrait above - by Pieter van Dyke, 1795) and I am trying to make up for this just now. In the biography I am just at the bit where he is writing “The Ancient Mariner” (hear it read by Orson Welles in five parts – here, here, here, here and here). The film that you can see with the Welles reading is by Larry Jordan (1977), using engravings by Gustave Doré. Here is the first part of the film embedded to give you a taste of it:
I have half a mind to write a long story poem packed with drama... but as yet it is only half a mind, sadly. I must get on and look for the other half...
And just in case you feared that my literary mind was filled with men... I have been reading Alice Walker's short stories too (as recommended by poet Judith Taylor in a comment some posts back). Each of the Walker stories in "The Complete Stories" (1994) is so huge (in terms of scope and content) that it feels like it almost needs its own book. As a collection it feels over-full somehow... but I suppose that is a compliment.
I've been recording some more audio poems lately too... and watching a whole heap of movies. I'll get to a movie post soon, I hope. Just for a change.