Monday, November 05, 2007

Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, thick fog and a Breton lay

I got back from the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival rather later than I would have liked last night, not wanting to beat the old banger into the ground, so nudging her gently the hundred and fifty-odd miles back from the Suffolk coast to Warwickshire.

Fog clamped in on me for the last half-hour, making the journey even slower; down to 30 miles an hour on the motorway on some stretches, so thick it was like driving inside a cloud. Which I suppose is exactly what I was doing. It brought back memories of long anxious trips over the 'mountain' in my Isle of Man days, the heights of Snaefell being prone to thick dangerous fog patches, particularly at this time of year.

My husband blamed the fireworks for last night's pea-souper. But I couldn't help wondering how much damage such minor activities as fireworks can really cause, having seen numerous industrial towers continuously belching out smoke in the flatlands of Suffolk and further into the Midlands on my way home.

For the next day or so, I need to sit down, mull over what I saw and heard at Aldeburgh, and then write up some sort of meaningful account for Raw Light.

Meanwhile, here's a link to The Expulsion of the Blatant Beast, one of my favourite - though highly eccentric - blogs on poetry, spirituality, and Celtic & other languages, featuring a delightful Breton lay available both as written words and sung, via YouTube.


Bo said...

'Highly eccentric'!!

Jane Holland said...

But cuddly! ;)

Jane Holland said...

Sorry. I think I must have been describing you rather than the blog! Erudite, eccentric and cuddly. Maybe blogs and people are like pets and people; eventually you start to resemble your blog.

I'm certainly feeling raw this morning, after a long weekend away. Though not 'light', alas.


Bo said...

Oh dear! xx

James Midgley said...

It was nice to see you, however briefly! Sorry I made good my escape so rapidly at the end of Stern's reading -- I'm not a fan of pensioner scrums(!) and, well, Star Wars was on the telly. ;-)

Jane Holland: Editor said...

Philistine! (To James)

One of my favourite bits that weekend was watching your - tightly schooled - expression during some of the choicer comments on that 'Masterclass' panel discussion. Why were they all so set against that last line in your Locust poem? Very odd. Couldn't understand the fuss, myself. Though if you could have seen Peter's face when you blithely started telling Sally Baker which parts of her poem she should lose ... !

Great entertainment value. Even if I did have to put up with Christine Webb painstakingly explaining the meaning of 'claggy' to me and anyone else who'd listen. It wasn't that I didn't believe it existed, as she seemed to have assumed. I just wondered how the dictionary would define it, that's all.

And after all that stern emphasis on using the dictionary, I think PS only checked it once, and that was at my request.


See you there next year?

James Midgley said...

Haha, I did wonder about his reaction to that, especially when he said something along the lines of 'you seem to be very quick to point out things the others could change, so maybe you could change...' -- surely criticism is the point?! Otherwise it's mind-numbing 'yeah, this was rather lovely...fantastic...wonderful' etc. I thought they were going to savage me, so was a bit bemused when I turned out to be the 'meanie'. Maybe it didn't help that I was their junior.

Michael Mackmin's response to Andrew Frolish's poem made me laugh. What was it? 'The poem antagonises me'.

Next year's so very far away. But I don't see why not. The fish and chips there is highly over-rated, though.

Jane Holland said...

A famous golfer once said, about golf but I'm adjusting it for poetry: 'If you eat fish and chips, you write fish and chips.'

Let that be a lesson to you. I had stout English ham and mustard on rye bread.