Poetry

20 June 2017

26 May 2017

Performance poets

KIERON RENNIE

Kieron is a multifaceted performance poet living in London. He has been described as a ‘forward-thinking poet who often creates innovative connections between distinct concepts’. His poetry has been characterised as reflective, abstract and musical – often breaking traditional form.

Equipped with the belief creativity is a universal language, Kieron has sought to combine his poetry with different art forms. 

http://www.applesandsnakes.org/page/84/Performance+poets/505

 

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2 May 2017

Cornelia Parker announced as UK’s general election artist

In a BBC World News interview Cornelia said that she believed a coalition or temporary alliance of political parties would be the best way to finalise the Brexit contract with the EU.

Cornelia will observe the voters during the election campaign, which culminates in the vote on 8 June, 2017, and produce a piece in response.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/entertainment-arts-39769439/election-artist-im-interested-in-the-voters

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28 April 2017

10 April 2017

Dover Beach

Dover Beach

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold (b. 24 December 1822)

 

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2 April 2017

21 March 2017

Piano

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;

Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see

A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings

And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

 

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song

Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong

To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside

And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide

 

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour

With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour

Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast

Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

 

.

 

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7 March 2017

Be Yourself, not me

Don't try to be me
and I won't try to be you
there is only one of me
and there is only one of you
Don't go around pretending to be
somebody that you are not
the real you is who you should
let people see
and not what you've got
You don't need to put on a false identity
trying to look and act like a celebrity
you are who you are with your own personality
that's the way it so just deal with reality
Looking up to someone is nothing wrong
but when you try to become that someone
that's where you don't belong
just be yourself and play it cool
why pretend and make yourself look like a fool?
I won't try to be you
So, don't try to be me
if others can't accept the way you are
then just let them be

Paul Adolphus

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the herd. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning oneself.

―Friedrich Nietzsche

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

― Oscar Wilde

 

 

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18 February 2017

France: An Ode.

Yea, every thing that is and will be free!
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still adored
The spirit of divinest Liberty. (lines 18–21)

Unprecedented upheaval in the French presidential campaign has left a young, inexperienced candidate as the front-runner.

Emmanuel Macron Emerges As Front-Runner In French Presidential Election

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-MkK2tFSAk

 

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7 February 2017

By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa by Billy Collins

All afternoon I have been struggling
to communicate in Italian
with Roberto and Giuseppe, who have begun
to resemble the two male characters
in my Italian for Beginners,
the ones who are always shopping
or inquiring about the times of trains,
and now I can hardly speak or write English.

I have made important pronouncements
in this remote limestone valley
with its trickle of a river,
stating that it seems hotter
today even than it was yesterday
and that swimming is very good for you,
very beneficial, you might say.
I also posed burning questions
about the hours of the archaeological museum
and the location of the local necropolis.

But now I am alone in the evening light
which has softened the white cliffs,
and I have had a little gin in a glass with ice
which has softened my mood or—
how would you say in English—
has allowed my thoughts to traverse my brain
with greater gentleness, shall we say,

or, to put it less literally,
this drink has extended permission
to my mind to feel—what's the word? —
a friendship with the vast sky
which is very—give me a minute—very blue
but with much great paleness
at this special time of day, or as we say in America, now. 

 

One of the most popular and influential British artists of the twentieth century returns to Tate Britain for his most comprehensive exhibition yet

More than 250 works by the Bradford-born artist will be on display, many of which have been in private collections and not on public display for decades, showing his development from an art student in the 1960s to the present day. Among the famous paintings on show is A Bigger Splash - the 1967 artwork inspired the title of the recent film starring Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinto

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38885541

https://www.theguardian.com/film/a-bigger-splash

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14 January 2017

Stuart Sutcliffe

Stuart Sutcliffe played in a band
Called the Black Jack, then Quarry Men,
Then Johnny and the Moondogs, and
Stuart was playing the bass when
The foursome wanted a new name.
Stuart came up with word play on
Crickets of Buddy Holly fame.
But soon after, Stuart was gone.
He went to Germany, found love,
Gave up music to study art.
An aneurysm he died of.
Age 22 he did depart.

So Stuart Sutcliffe - who was he?
He made the name 'The Beatles' be. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z1WMTjyJfM

 

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26 December 2016

What you really love

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray.” 

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17 July 2016

Beyond the World

"If you have lost possession of a world,

Be not distressed, for it is nought;

And have you gained possession of a world,

Be not overjoyed, for it is nought.

Our pains, our gains all pass away;

Get beyond the world, for it is nought." 

 

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2 April 2016

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,

But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you thought

And not waving but drowning.Poor chap, he always loved larking

And now he's dead

It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,

They said.Oh, no no no, it was too cold always

(Still the dead one lay moaning)

I was much too far out all my life

And not waving but drowning.

Author: Stevie Smith

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKUt1UPwzXE

 

 

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21 February 2016

Who Are My People

 My people? Who are they?
I went into the church where the congregation
Worshiped my God. Were they my people?
I felt no kinship to them as they knelt there.

My people! Where are they?
I went into the land where I was born,
Where men spoke my language...
I was a stranger there.
‘My people,’ my soul cried. ‘Who are my people?’

Last night in the rain I met an old man
Who spoke a language I do not speak,
Which marked him as one who does not know my God.
With apologetic smile he offered me
The shelter of his patched umbrella.
I met his eyes... And then I knew...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3JZJZc2EBY

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b070cgkk

 



 

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19 December 2015

Ask Mosul

Ask Mosul, city of Islam, about the
lions—
how their fierce struggle brought
liberation.
The land of glory has shed its humiliation
and defeat
and put on the raiment of splendor.

This poem appears in a recent article by Audrey Borowski , and is featured in the U.K philosophy magazine Philosophy Now. The article explains the differences between the two ideologies: Al Qaeda and Isis.

One interesting point the article makes is that "by claiming to avenge the oppressed and redeem mankind as a whole, Al Qaeda hopes to establish itself as the new global revolutionary vanguard. Tradional leftist anti imperialism has been recast in Islamic terms. Accordingly, Al Qaeda's fighters see themselves as wielding the arm of Justice and acting as "the avenger that completes the task of liberation in the name of generations of the down-trodden" as Walter Benjamin wrote in his: Theses on The Philosophy of History.  Thus, Al Qaeda is driven less by religious claims or by an overarching metaphysical ideology than by a doctrine of reciprocity, in which mankind will finally be 'equalized' and unified.

"In what creed are your dead considered innocent but ours worthless? By what logic does your blood count as real and ours as no more than water? Reciprocal treatment is part of justice, and he who commences hostilities is the unjust one"

('To the Peoples of Europe,' 15 April 2004, Messages to the World)

http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/jihadi-poets-isis/

 

 

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13 December 2015

The Ballad of Reading Gaol

The Ballad of Reading Gaol is a poem by Oscar Wilde, written in exile either in Berneval-le-Grand or in Dieppe, France, after his release from Reading Gaol (pronounced "redding jail") on 19 May 1897. Wilde had been incarcerated in Reading after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and sentenced to two years' hard labour in prison.

During his imprisonment, on Tuesday, 7 July 1896, a hanging took place. Charles Thomas Wooldridge had been a trooper in the Royal Horse Guards. He was convicted of cutting the throat of his wife, Laura Ellen. earlier that year at Clewer, near Windsor. He was aged 30 when executed.

Wilde spent mid-1897 with Robert Ross in Berneval-le-Grand, where he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol. The poem narrates the execution of Wooldridge; it moves from an objective story-telling to symbolic identification with the prisoners as a whole. No attempt is made to assess the justice of the laws which convicted them, but rather the poem highlights the brutalisation of the punishment that all convicts share. Wilde juxtaposes the executed man and himself with the line "Yet each man kills the thing he loves". Wilde too was separated from his wife and sons. He adopted the proletarian ballad form, and suggested it be published in Reynold's Magazine, "because it circulates widely among the criminal classes — to which I now belong — for once I will be read by my peers — a new experience for me".

The finished poem was published by Leonard Smithers on February 13, 1898 under the name C.3.3., which stood for cell block C, landing 3, cell 3. This ensured that Wilde's name — by then notorious — did not appear on the poem's front cover. It was not commonly known, until the 7th printing in June 1899, that C.3.3. was actually Wilde. The first edition, of 800 copies, sold out within a week, and Smithers announced that a second edition would be ready within another week; that was printed on February 24th, in 1000 copies, which also sold well. A third edition, of 99 numbered copies "signed by the author", was printed on March 4th, on the same day a fourth edition of 1,200 ordinary copies was printed. A fifth edition of 1,000 copies was printed on March 17th, and a sixth edition was printed in 1,000 copies on May 21st, 1898. So far the book's title page had identified the author only as C.3.3., although many reviewers, and of course those who bought the numbered and autographed third edition copies, knew that Wilde was the author, but the seventh edition, printed on June 23, 1899, actually revealed the author's identity, putting the name Oscar Wilde, in square brackets, below the C.3.3.. It brought him a small income in his remaining lifetime. Wikipedia

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06rcj2p

 

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22 November 2015

GWALIA DESERTA VIII

GWALIA DESERTA VIII
Do you remember 1926?

Do you remember 1926? That summer of soups and speeches,
The sunlight on the tidle wheels and the deserted crossings,
And the laughter and the cursing in the moonlight streets?
Do you remember 1926? The slogans and the penny concerts,
The jazz-bands and the moorland picnics,
And the slanderous tonques of famous cities?
Do you remember 1926? The great dream and the swift disaster,
The fanatic and the traitor, and more than all,
The bravery of the simple, faithful folk?
"Ay, ay, we remember 1926," said Dai and Shinkin,
As they stood on the kerb in Charing Cross Road,
"And we shall remember 1926 until our blood is dry."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06p56zt

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20 November 2015

Being British


Tilt's London Liming: where spoken word meets carnival.

Deanna Rodger performing her anti British National Party (BNP) statement piece 'Being British' at Tilt's London Liming: A Come Rhyme With Me Special, London, 09/02/12.

Deanna Rodger is from London. Both her parents are also British. “I was born in Britain, my name doesn’t sound particularly foreign, so in an application no one would know I am a different colour – until they met me.” When they see she isn’t white, she has to face the assumption that she isn’t from London. “This makes me laugh, it’s a bit ridiculous,” she reflects. This is what prompted her to write her poem Being British, which breaks apart the three questions she gets asked all the time: “Where are you from?” (To which she replies London, or Fulham). Followed by: “What country?” (To which she replies England). And this is always followed by: “Where are your parents from?” Racism is “the most terrifying and amusing thing at the same time,” she says.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU63a15enBU

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26 October 2015

The Garden Party

The rich arrived in pairs
And also in Rolls Royces
They talked of their affairs
In loud and strident voices.

The poor arrived in Fords
Whose features they resembled
And laughed to see so many lords
And ladies all assembled. 

The people in between
Looked underdone and harassed
And out of place and mean
And horribly embarrassed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06j0wlw

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