Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Just a quick post to say I'm the land of the living. I had a lovely week last week.
Cambo was great. N and I helped sort snowdrops in the green to go out to meet orders from all around the world. N said it was like taking part in the tobacco factory scene in Carmen.

Stanza was good. So much to relate, but I feel like I've eaten a large meal that I need time to digest. The Penelope Shuttle masterclass was very good, Annie Freud and a few other notable poets sat in on it in the audience, which was great.
And Janice Galloway on the poet Lear was a highlight, her knowledge, level of research and performance were all amazing.

Also really enjoyed the Tess Gallagher on Raymond Carver session. Her reading of Last Fragment, Carver's last poem, to close the session moved me to tears. She said she had four years of treatment for breast cancer herself, and that she used to give out this poem as a kind of balm to patients and nurses alike.

My friend Joanne is now in hospital and very close to death and it seems such a perfect way to think of her:

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

August Kleinzahler’s reading was the real tour de force of the whole festival.
He reads brilliantly, his stance at the mike reminded me of a boxer. Get a flavour of his prose writing here

I came home to find I've got a Special Merit place in the unpublished section of the Scottish National Galleries poetry competition, you had to write a poem based on a piece of art in the national collection. I did mine on a Scottish painting from the 1860s called The Hind's Daughter, which was painted locally by one of the Glasgow Boys. I've added it at the top of this post. It attracts me because it raises more questions than it answers, and the poem is about that. They're putting all the poems on the competition website, so I'll add the link when that happens.
Rob and Alan Gay are both runners up in the published poets section - for more info click on Rob's name and read his entry for yesterday.

I'm nursing a cold, no doubt picked up in Fife, and contending with a field mouse in the kitchen. I keep roaring "Thomas!" but as I don't have a cat, just a daft scaredy-cat dog, nothing happens, other than me jumping up on the nearest chair! My husband caught it in a humane trap when I was away, but it's come right on home. We may need to revert to a real mouse trap......


Blogger Cailleach said...

That's the second time in two days that I've come across that Carver piece. It's haunting - glad you enjoyed StAnza so much!

12:28 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

And congratulations too A - this sinus cold I have is making joined up thinking very hard, this last few days... well done you!

Can't wait to see the poems when they're put up!

12:32 pm  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Well done, Anna. You do write so evocatively and honestly, I'm glad you've been recognised for that. All the more special because it combines your love of art with the poetry.

I hope your friend Joanne isn't suffering.

5:35 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks Sam. Joanne gone, she died with her family around her. It was peaceful at the end. She fought like hell to stay, did more chemo than anyone I've ever known, but it was not to be.

I'm glad she's at peace now.

9:06 pm  
Blogger blkbutterfly said...

oh my, i'd jump in a chair too at the sight of a mouse! my mother was a fan of humane traps. me... not so much.

just wanted to stop by before i hit the road. have a good weekend! :-)

9:31 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Thank you for the 'The late Fragment' It is so beautiful. I copied it down ages ago and then lost it.
RIP Joanne.

5:05 pm  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I'm glad Joanne's final hours were peaceful. May she rest in peace after her long painful struggle.

10:37 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home