Sunday, April 24, 2016

Travesty and beauty

A last minute decision to travel up to the smoke this morning to arrive at ten. Dawn, who had stayed overnight, gave Lorraine and I a lift to the station and we travelled up to the Victoria & Albert museum, where there was a reading of Shakespeare's sonnets, and 154 responses to them by modern (i.e. alive) poets. Mine was sonnet 19. Lorraine and I were there from the start. They were performing the sonnets in numerical order and reading the responses to each one. To my surprise the poems were read badly, with regular stumbling and in a way that suggested the reader had no idea what they were about.

Worse was to come for me, as my poem Locked in the Lines, was designed to be read by two voices, but although there were eight available actors this was missed. The same actor read the whole thing so as to render the poem incomprehensible. You would have thought an acting company devoted to reading poems might have seized the opportunity to do something in two voices, but obviously not. Very poor.

Lorraine and I went having heard the first twenty-one sonnets and their responses. The notice outside the door said it was a 'poetry marathon'. Can there be any two more dispiriting words when placed together? The idea of poetry as an endurance test is all wrong.

Still the V&A is lovely, and we had a good time. Lorraine and I looked at lots of stuff, including the gorgeous Japanese things, and silverware over the centuries, and so on so we were happy to have a morning out. I am beginning to increasingly think that beauty is food for the soul. Ate a snack in the cafe too, which was good food and a lovely environment.

Then back to Brighton, where Lorraine returned home to prepare for tomorrow, and I went to the Duke of Wellington to meet Beth, Dylan and Kitty to rehearse. The owner of the pub talking to me as I went in began to insist I drink a Jaegerbomb, which I cleverly declined and telling me that I seemed shy and other drunken speculations about me. What is it about these people?

Home with Beth after three hours of a good rehearsal. I had a nice chat with Mum, and then caught up with Janet, Ken still in hospital but may be released back into the wild.

A supper of roast lamb. I generally avoid red meat, and haven't had roast lamb in at least a decade if not far longer.  Watched The Durrells on TV, a series based loosely on the lives of the Durrells in Corfu, based on the Gerald Durrell stories but also drawing in other biographical material. Quite entertaining.

Below... A gorgeous setting for a slaughter. The V&A cafe, and a piece of glass that really caught my eye. Based on some moralising biblical story to do with adultery, but it was the picture I loved.

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