Personal Choice - March 2020
Owen Shears – Resistance
Imaagined history - Germans landing on British soil. a gripping portrait of a community under siege a moving story of unexpected love and friendship.
Lloyd Jones – Mister Pip
This is the same Mr Pip as in Great Expectations. It's about a school on a tropical island where there's civil war. The only school is run by an Englishman, and the only text book is Great Expectations, and they make the best of it. It's partly about the school, partly about the history of the people, and partly about living with threat. I found I'd forgotten chunks of Great Expectations, so I've read that again. So a double book month.
Copyright laws won’t allow us to post the poems, but they are easily found online
Roger McGough – Tennis
The way it's presented on the page you have to move your eyes from left to right to left as though you were watching tennis. It's also about a husband-wife relationship where they go through the motions but don't connect. Very short. Very clever.
Roger McGough – The Jolly Road Sweeper
Reminds me of Banksy. There is one of a maid lifting up a wall to hide the sweepings. I don't know which came first, Banksy or McGough. McGough's poems a fairly flippant observation about skimping and not taking things seriously. Or, if you're Hyacinth Bucket, a shocking example of shoddy work, an non-care attitude, and the deterioration of society. I prefer the first. Roger McGough is very good at summing things up quickly and with wit.
Pam Ayres – They Should Have Asked My Husband
The fictional (I hope) know-all husband who could solve all world problems, if only he were obeyed. The poem’s sarcasm turns to straight complaint – he’s a know-nothing windbag. Pam Ayres puts it across beautifully.
Wordsworth – Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 2nd, 1802)
I chose this partly because it’s the 250th anniversary of his birth but mainly because it makes me feel nostalgic for my home city.
Rosetti – Silent Noon
This is a favourite for many reasons. I first came across it as a lovely song then found the poem and discovered that it works best read aloud (even if only to oneself). I think it’s a beautifully evocative word painting of an idyllic summers’ day; a perfect reminder of how good it is to live in the moment and enjoy the beauty of nature, and of just being still