Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Colin has posted about this on his blog but I just wanted to say that I took part and that it was the most joyful thing I've done for a while. It is wonderful to sit quietly with a group of fellow poets working on the same thing. Colin is right about new paths and connections silently occurring, almost like a collective brain writing new neurotransmitters. And Colin makes a mean cup of green tea.

I knew a few people there, but others were complete strangers. I particularly liked the Portugese lady, who kept apologising for her English and her understanding, and then came up with a fantastic way to round off the whole piece. And Colin thought a line of mine was worthy of the title for the whole thing!

And as a byproduct we've all got lots of fragments left over that might spark off new poems. Afterwards I went to see the China photographic exhibition at the City Art Gallery. It is a wonderful exhibition of photos spanning two floors and over 50 years of Chinese development. A couple of photos particularly struck me, one taken of workers leaving a factory in the 1980s all on bikes (it reminded me of photographs of the Glasgow shipyards in the 1950/60s) and then one of a similar thing taken 15 years later and everyone is taking motortaxis.

I also saw Tracy Emin's 20 year retrospective. I must say that it has a charm all of its own. I particularly liked a line of hers about school, she left/stopped going at about 13, she says on one of her blanket pieces something along the lines of "school, why go when all they ever say is "you're late"?"

And she and her gran used to call each other "Plum" and " Pudding" - I think that's lovely and from personal experience I know how much an older person in the family can anchor you when everthing else seems more than a little chaotic.

(Although asking a tenner for a notepad with a piece of text on the front saying "I used to be so imaginative" is taking the piss! )

But I feel duly restored by all the fantastic sights and sounds of the last few weeks.

photo is a treatment of a peony shot I took up north


Blogger BarbaraS said...

What a busy but productive time you've been having. I see Colin says that the renga will be published on the SPL site. I will look out for that. Hope you get a chance to work up the fragments into full poems!

11:43 am  
Blogger PI said...

Sounds an energising, enjoyable experience and it's lovely to get the feeling of fellowship with people from other lands. Interesting about T Emin.

12:53 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...


What is that wondeful photo of?

1:30 pm  

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