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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sunday Review

Hamish ended the week last week with a plea for submissions and our thanks go to those kindly and creative folk who responded to his call. We began on Monday with Caroline Hurely's 'The Dove Returns to Derry', a poem which not only brought the past into relationship with the present but which was also full of business and bustle and sharp observation, not to mention some gentle humour. I particularly enjoyed the lines describing the 'grand festive funk'.
    On Tuesday, we turned to another regular contributor, Luigii Pagano, who gave us his thoughts on the 'Secret Lives' of our feline companions. I enjoyed this piece for its insight into the cats and people function. It's so true that a missing pet can take precedence over all other concerns and also that we can never quite be sure what our absent kitties are up to. I once had a marmalade tomcat who was so intent on seeing the world he made regular and repeated attempts to board the the village bus. On at least two occasions the driver was obliged to stop the vehicle and walk back along the road carrying my Tiger in his arms.
    On Wednesday, we went with Carolyn Cornthwaite and 'Blue Sky Thinking', a marvellous poem about 'the man who fell to earth' and so very aptly suggestive of the Icarus and Daedalus myth. Here, because I love it, is the opening stanza:
       'No one saw you fall from grace,
       halfway to heaven, head lost in clouds.
       No one heard your cry for freedom
       or the sound of dreams dashed upon
       desolate concrete.'
If you haven't already seen the rest, do click on the link. Thanks, Carolyn for choosing to submit to Poetry24.
    We are grateful, of course, to all our contributors for their generous support and sometimes, as with Gwen Seabourne's 'Deeds Not Words' less is most definitely more. This powerful and pithy little piece not only pays tribute to the courage and conviction of Emily Wilding Davison but also reminds all of us of the need to get up off our butts. We are all, I suspect, guilty of inertia to some extent or another. (I know that I am.) It is arguable that, in the face of such injustice  as we see every day, we should all make an effort to talk less and do more. 
    On Friday, submissions being low, we slipped in my own response to Vice magazine's themed fashion shoot 'the Last Word', a mock up of celebrity suicides, all female, all 'arty', some quite recent, in which all the models appeared in clothes supposed to impress us as to 'to die for'. I don't think you can see these images on line now but I saw looked at them on the day the story first broke. At first I was angry but soon I just wanted to cry. Later that day, when I had  managed to calm down, I wrote 'Drop Dead Gorgeous'
    It seems to me that what is interesting about this he spread was not that it offended against 'good taste' but that, in order for it to have reached the public, not just one person but a number of people must have decided that a) it was a good idea and b) that the social climate was now such that they would be able to get away with it. This, I believe, it symptomatic of the way that the gains made by women over the past fives decades are being systematically eroded.  It wasn't just a miscalculation or a failure of journalistic etiquette but an aspect of sometime much nastier and much more insidious. It is something, I would venture to suggest, that needs to be stopped.
    Finally, on Saturday, we closed the week with Siobhán Mc Laughlin's  'The Standing Man', another powerful and 'thoughtful and well-crafted poem'.  Our thanks go to 'Little Nell' for taking the time to comment on this piece - and , indeed, on many other poems. We know from our mailbox that our contributors greatly appreciate such  expressions of support.
    Well, that's all for this week, folks. Here in Cornwall, we celebrated the solstice against a background of grey skies and rain. I hope the weather has been kinder where you are.

Abigail Wyatt


  1. And our thanks to you and the rest of the team for keeping Poetry24 alive and most definitely kicking! Sometimes it feels very lonely commenting and I do wonder if that's why poets don't feel inclined to submit. We all thrive on encouragement and it would be nice to see more supportive comments on the submissions. Meanwhile I'm feeling guilty as I haven't submitted for ages.

  2. Don't feel guilty and thanks once again. We know that everyone out there is very busy and that, sometimes, every little bit of writing time is precious. For instance, I am trying to get to grips with two guide major poetry projects at the moment AND keep up with certain amount of short fiction which I am finding really hard to do. Does anyone else find it difficult to write poetry and prose along side of one a other?

  3. I don't know about this one, Abi. I think I find it hard working on several pieces at once - I know I do. This week I am hoping to submit several prose pieces (two short stories and a short memoir) to various competitions. Meanwhile I am trying to keep up with the poetry and I'm struggling. And yet I think (like Nuala Ni Chonchuir) that prose and poetry do complement each other, especially where short fiction/memoir is concerned.