Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sunday Review

It's easy to say: 'How can one person make a difference?' and in saying it, to not be the person who does. This week we've had poems about individuals who have made a difference - whether intentionally or inadvertently - and some who are trying to.

We started with Nedjo Rogers' powerful 'Renewal Scourge' which looked at two agents provocateur: Tunisian fruitseller Mohamed Bouazizi, whose self-immolation provoked the Arab Spring and the killing of Mark Duggan which sparked off rather less altruistic riots in Tottenham. On Wednesday Lavinia Kumar's 'Spinning Wheel' on Indian corruption being highlighted by campaigner Anna Hazare. With it's references to sandals, home spun cloth and cups of salt, there were clear echoes of Gandhi.

So what difference can poets make and how best to expose an issue? Well, you can pack a punch with very few words - as Karen Neuberg did with 'By-stander' and Stafford Ray with his 'Shorts'. Or you can home in on the intensely personal like Katherine Lockton on love 'n' marriage with 'September the 3rd' and Martin Hodges with his devastating 'No longer' on the appalling situation in Tripoli hospital.

Submissions have been a bit thin on the ground of late and I'm going off on holiday now, so do please keep sending your poems to Martin.