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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Sunday Review

Well, here we are again. Hamish and I are delighted to say that it has been another great week this week and one which began with another hard-hitting poem from regular contributor, Sue Norton. In this poem, 'Lyse Doucet's report from Yarmouk', Sue reminds us of the human misery and despair associated with the crisis in Syria by showing us, in the midst of the kind of media coverage that we are all too accustomed to accept as our evening viewing, a simple gesture of comfort that not only conveys the humanity of both the giver and the recipient but also communicates something of our own sense of helpless in the face of the conflict in Syria. Thank you, Sue, for choosing to submit your poem to us.

On Tuesday, on a somewhat lighter note, we went to P K Deb for his 'Actor Turned Author', a poem prompted by the news that a book written by Charlie Chaplin, the 'bearer of a short but popular name', has recently been published. On Wednesday, however, we were back with the serious with Carloyn Conrthwaite's 'At the Flick...' which came with a link to an article, itself very powerful, about a former US execution chief who is 'haunted' by his experiences. It's impossible to quite effectively from this poem so I urge you to click on the link and read the whole thing again.

On Thursday we were back with Sue Norton for 'Are the robots about to rise?', a poem prompted by the notion that we may be on the verge of an artificial intelligence that is smarter than we are. What can I say? When I read stuff like this I find myself grateful that I am no longer thirty. I worry, though, about the state of the world in which my daughter will live out her life.

Finally, on Friday, James Schwartz gave us 'Piano/Peninsula' (See video clip here) and we heartily apologise for the fact that there was a glitch in the embedded video which were unable to correct. Sorry, James, we hope the link supplied today goes some way towards getting us back into your good books.

On quite a different note, at the request of Hamish, I am publishing below my own photograph and poem for International Women's Day on Saturday.

One Day
(for International Women's Day, 2014)

Today, just for today, 
I will have courage
and be steadfast and sure-footed;
putting my faith in the strength and rightness
of my own beautiful body,
I will believe in my ability
to solve the problems
that frustrate my aspirations
and my purposes.
Today, I will celebrate my talents
and remember my achievements;
I will give thanks for my womanliness ,
and my capacity for love,
both to give and receive it,
which is not to mention
the deep well of my past sorrow
and the glorious power of my will.
Today, I will honour all that I am
and pay attention
to the 'more' that I could be.
Today, for just this day,
I stand beside my sisters -
because the future
comes one day at a time.


  1. Quite right too, it’s a poem that deserves a wider audience.

  2. Totally connect with emotive tone of your poem Abi, thought 'Today, just for today', .. as a refrain read like an inner conversation. The Guardian did coverage of International Women's day at weekend: how in their view Afghanistan is one of the worst places in the world for women (debatable - there are no many to choose from!!!) with a call to the government there to re-introduce stoning women who have been raped. Women are punished twice, first by being raped and secondly been seen, in the eyes of the law and the community as being responsible for their own violation. In my view all violations against women, whether rape, F.G.M, human trafficking, domestic violence or media representations (page 3 to name the many) are of symptomatic of power, in its many guises between men and women across the world. Imagine if we routinely read the same statistics about men's treatment across the world - how shocking would that be ? There are a great many voices, both male and female that want change. But regardless of gender, which of us ever really wants to share or give up power, power that has been assumed for centuries ? Progress has and will continue to be made for women - but it is slow. Poems such as yours help the cause. Thank you.

  3. Thank you both for your kind comments. The poem was written for my Facebook page which is where Hamish saw it. It is thanks to him that it appeared here.