Well, it's that time again. How quickly my turn seems to come around. Here in Cornwall we have seen at last the first signs of some better weather with sunshine and light winds and, on Friday, my mother was able to enjoy a drive out to Helston Boating Lake to celebrate her eighty-fourth birthday. This was followed on Saturday by a visit to the Hall for Cornwall to see a production of 'The Misanthrope' written by Roger McGough after Moliere. A good time was had by all.
On the poetry front, though, it has been a controversial - and somewhat divided - week. On Tuesday we began with Niamh Hill's Pissing Against the Wind which pays tribute to the late Margaret Thatcher and 'her golden reign'. Here at Poetry24, we were keen to present both sides of this particular argument. As it turned out, however, Niamh's was one of the few pro-Thatcher submissions we received.
Wednesday, of course, was the day of the funeral and our poem was Laura Taylor's Dear Margaret which, if one of the functions of the poet is to call forth a response, fulfilled that requirement admirably. Not everyone liked it but, speaking for myself rather than as the representative of the editorial team (naturally, I would not presume to speak for either Michael or Hamish) I found its intensely personal view both poignant and hard-hitting. The poet's grim conclusion that 'there's no absolution,/ no forgiveness, or pity or grief' may not be comfortable for some but it is a position honestly held.
Then, on Thursday, it was our own Michael Holloway who described the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in his Boston 15th April 2013. It was, as one of our contributors, Luigi Pagano, commented: 'An incisive and realistic portrayal of the horrific act'. Thank you, Luigi. I could not have said it better myself.
Friday saw us in the very capable hands of another regular contributor, David Subacchi. David took as his inspiration for the poem, Homecoming, a very much gentler story concerning the return home of Nelson Mandela following a stay in hospital. 'Madiba is home', he says, 'The nation's father'; even 'Death runs scared of him'.
All of which brings us to Saturday and Carolyn Cornthwaite's Bleak House, a reflection on UNICEF's recent report that British children face a grim future under the coalition government in 'this barren land devoid / of jobs, of training, and further / education'. It was gritty stuff and it made for a grim end to the week - and one that was, perhaps, at odds with the week's beginning. Do you have something to say about the world? We are waiting for your submissions. Have a good week and enjoy the sunshine if you can.