Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Review

This week our poetic journey began with Kristina England's 'Overtaken', a poem that tells the tragic tale of the death of a bride-to-be as she travelled in her best friend's car to celebrate her forthcoming wedding. This is one of those news stories that, the more you think about it, the more the breadth and depth of this 'everyday tragedy' becomes heart-rendingly clear. Kristina England's stark language is powerful and she skillfully avoids all trace of mawkishness. A strong start to the week. Thank you, Kristina.

Tuesday's poem, 'Berlusconi does time' by Maeve O-Sullivan turns on the news story reporting the opening of Silvio Berlusconi's legal to challenge to a conviction for paying for sex with an under-age prostitute which comes at the same time the disgraced politician is working with Alzheimer patients as part of a community service sentence. The poem moves wryly, gently towards its conclusion where we find the sting in its tail.
     'At least they can now say
I did the community some service.'
On Wednesday, our poem was 'If Jesus Christ was alive today' from regular contributor, Sue Norton. Sue's poem comments on the comments made by Sir Elton John on the subject of gay marriage. This is another poem with a strong, telling ending:  'Maybe / God’s kingdom of generosity is hell for the righteous soul.'
Thursday's poem was a welcome second offering from a Mac Dunlop, a poet based right here in Cornwall, whose sonnet 'Can you tell what it is yet? turns on the recent conviction for 'historic' sex offences of erstwhile celebrity artist, Rolf Harris. Mac's touch in this poem is as light as light can be and, inside the constraints of his chosen form, his language is delightfully playful. I know from hearing Mac read locally, however, that he always leaves you thinking. This poem is no exception and we look forward to receiving more.

On Friday it was the turn of Thomas Martin  with his poem  'Job Done' which deals with the announcement by long-serving Labour politician, Ruairi Quinn that he is to step down as Minister for Education and Skills after the election of a new Labour Party leader. Thomas Martin's poem, with its deceptive simplicity but grand imagery, is, it seems to me, a gentle and even affectionate farewell to a man of some strength and stature whose life's work is now behind him. Listening to Mr Quinn's interview, though, I cannot imagine that he will be idle for long.

Friday, 4th July was also my birthday and I would like to thank all those of you who sent me birthday greetings via Facebook.  I enjoyed a long and lazy lunch with my partner and close family followed by a relaxing evening at home. Back in harness today, though, and back on the healthy eating plan tomorrow.

Have a safe, happy and productive week.

Abigail Wyatt

Among my birthday presents: a bear and a book. The bear's name is Reggie.