At the time of writing it is National Poetry Day which I think is a great idea. It was opened by Prince Charles who read Seamus Heaney's Shipping Forecast.
The Shipping Forecast by Seamus Heaney
Dogger, Rockall, Malin, Irish Sea:
Green, swift upsurges, North Atlantic flux
Conjured by that strong gale-warning voice,
Collapse into a sibilant penumbra.
Midnight and closedown. Sirens of the tundra,
Of eel-road, seal-road, keel-road, whale-road, raise
Their wind-compounded keen behind the baize
And drive the trawlers to the lee of Wicklow.
L’Etoile, Le Guillemot, La Belle Hélène
Nursed their bright names this morning in the bay
That toiled like mortar. It was marvellous
And actual, I said out loud, ‘A haven,’
The word deepening, clearing, like the sky
Elsewhere on Minches, Cromarty, The Faroes.
A stirring beginning to the day on Radio 4.
I actually began by sending a poem to BBC Breakfast at around 07:00. I sent the offering I wrote in respect of Terry Jones that was included in the blog that is current. The link is below,
The theme of the day is Messages and we are invited to contribute wherever we can. There are various events round the country listed on the BBC website.
The above quote from Percy Byshe Shelley says it all for me and grants permission to us all to be poets.
As a result of the launch of such a day there is also a number of 'support' websites highlighted one which I read had the title 'Learn to be a poet' which I find strange. I have been driven to teach poetry, I consider myself something of a poet but don't remember ever being taught how to be one!
Does this mean that I inherited a gene on one of my chromosomes - the poet gene? If so it skipped my parents.
Is it the case that having read and listened to poet the art somehow diffused itself into my blood?
Whichever, I enjoy writing poetry, playing with words, and ideas to produce a message about whatever is in my mind at the time. The Terry Jones poem came from me seeing the man, supported by his son Bill, receiving an award. I have tried to analyse more closely the factors that contributed to me feeling the need to produce the work.
There are thousands of templates for analysing a poet's thoughts and words but it is my contention that you may never find the right answer. Indeed there may be more than one answer all of which are equally of value. The central column in the above chart is impossible to get right. In my opinion trying to assess a person's emotions when they wrote a poem is impossible and probably none of your bloody business.
So why write or read poetry?
Well that is down to the theme of the National Poetry Day - Messages. Read poetry and if you get the message you will feel that it is good. If you don't then you and the poet have failed to connect on that occasion.
Back to Terry Jones
I still have the mental picture of Terry and his son Bill on stage receiving the reward. For me Terry seemed to be trying, however fleetingly, to make sense of the situation. Bill was expressing the pain he was feeling for what he was losing from his father, in his words,body language and his emotions. The scene was emotionally powerful and because of my experience of Terry's work I felt that I had a connection and that gave me the desire to produce a piece of poetry.