Friday, April 11, 2008
To London last night to listen to Tobias Hill, Caroline Bird and Don Paterson read poems on the theme of EYES. It was part of a series of readings organised by the charity, Poet in the City.
Some random notes I made on the train on the way back from the reading, and also the discussion afterwards:
* We remember 75% times as much by scent than any other sense (from a question from a member of the audience about how important sight was in poetry)
* A week from which you can't remember any clear images hasn't been a good week at all (Caroline Bird)
* Tobias Hill talked about his good eyesight and how this influenced his poetry. A member of the audience said she was a visual artist with short sight and she found this useful in her work, as she could get the form but not get overwhelmed by the details. And also short sighted people see things better close up.
* Tobias Hill said he looks at things first and only then uses his imagination. I think I mostly work the other way round, and will get inspiration from snippets of stories heard and then look for images, but I might try to be more conscious of my process.
* TH (again) in his poem, Repossession, had the beautiful image of a derelict house becoming 'homeless'...
* and before reading a prose poem, said that poetry on the page was like dried soup. It needed to be read to become whole.
* Don Paterson said that most poets he knew loved watching films, and there were close links between films and poetry.
But I was only half listening towards the end because I kept thinking of a short story based around 'I see what you mean' - someone that actually does SEE images of meaning. Hence it's my prompt for today!
(nb the photograph of a useful portable collection of false eyes comes from a visit to the Wellcome Library, where the reading took place. They are, worryingly, exactly the same colour as my eyes.)
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