Friday 27 June 2008

The first and the last

Vilanelle duly found wanting by the class: too obvious, too in your face. My words, not theirs. Back to Emily Dickinson, Tell it slant. More work required: I was saying to Lorraine, in a year or two, and she said, oh no, in a week or two, surely.

I'll leave it for a few days.

Very good 1-hour session with James Brown the poet, such good use of the time. Interesting to hear him talk about his difficulties with poems, the importance of first and last lines of poems, first and last poems in books, in sections within the book. Discussion about the use of the word 'synapse' in that poem. He said that he usually writes in colloquial language and has what he calls a 'limited vocabulary', I wonder what he considers 'limited'? (Reminded me of Amichai, who introduced that simplicity into Hebrew poetry). He's a born teacher. He wrote the e-course I've just completed, which was so interesting .

(The stimulation reminded me of hearing James McNeish speak about his latest book, The Sixth Man recently and being enthralled at all the stuff he was talking about, much better than listening to him read something he'd written already. It was fresh, new.)

The best part for me was James B's reading out that lovely piece of prose by Amichai. And an hour or so later finally read out to the class the review I'd written of Amichai's poem. So that is now done and over, on to the next book review. Am no longer sure it should be on David Whyte.

Bill read a review of a book by Robert Hass - humility does not usually feature in American success. I must find out more.

Talking of humility (not): I've heard today from the Holocaust Centre that my little doco film of Dora Suuring (holocaust survivor) is going to be promoted. They are going to make an event of it, as I'd always hoped. I'm happy.

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